“Gado and Zunar remind us how fragile this liberty remains in Africa and in Asia as well as in other regions of the world. Through their commitment towards open and transparent societies, Gado and Zunar, who have received threats in their countries of origin and can no longer practice their profession, confront us with our responsibility to preserve freedom of expression and act in order to support the combat of those who cannot express themselves through their art” — Kofi Annan, Honorary President, Cartooning For Peace Swiss Foundation
“For having had the courage to draw the king naked, Gado and Zunar are faced with a power machine that seeks to silence them. What this Prize seeks to do is just the opposite: to amplify their voices, which are those of democracy and justice” — Cartoonist Patrick Chappatte, co-founder of Cartooning For Peace
Cartoonists Gado and Zunar were presented the 2016 Cartooning For Peace award on World Press Freedom Day at a ceremony in Geneva’s Palais Eynard. The award is given out every two years by Cartooning For Peace to cartoonists who have shown courage in their fight for freedom of expression. Zunar, who has seen his books banned and confiscated by the Malaysian government since 2010, is now facing a possible 43-year prison sentence for a series of tweets in 2015. Gado, who has been called “the most important cartoonist in Africa,” was fired by the Kenya-based Nation Media Group newspaper chain because of — in Gado’s words — “corporate and political pressure.”
An open-air exhibition of cartoons by Zunar and Gado along Geneva’s Lac Leman — along with the cartoons of other artists in support of Cartooning For Peace —will continue through June 4, 2016. The catalogue of cartoons on display can be accessed here. An educational supplement to the exhibition catalogue can be seen here.