In the United States and much of the developed world today, editorial cartooning is mostly seen as a dying art. In other parts of the world, however, it’s an art that cartoonists are quite literally dying for, as well as being beaten, tortured, imprisoned, and impoverished.
Cartoonists Rights Network International exists to champion their cause, leading the fight to protect the free speech and human rights of editorial cartoonists, and the people they give voice to, around the globe.
It should not be surprising that editorial cartoonists are frequently the first journalists targeted by extremists, thugs, and tyrants. Cartoonists and their caricatures create a kind of visual shorthand that’s easily understood and shared among the populace, and not so easily blocked or censored; even in places where press and personal freedom is tightly restricted.
It’s exactly this accessibility to the people at large that puts so many editorial cartoonists on a collision course with those in power, should they dare give voice to popular discontent.
For the last 21 years, CRNI has come to the defense of these embattled journalists, whenever and wherever they’ve come under attack. We’ve helped hundreds of cartoonists in nearly fifty different countries over that time. Many of their stories are on this website, along with the stories of cartoonists still under threat today.
We hope you’ll be as inspired as we are by their courage, tenacity, and sacrifice, and join with us to stand by them. For cartoonists like Akram Raslan, Majda Shaheen, and Bonil, and others yet to come, their future depends on it.
Mark Twain once said, “Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.” The one thing the ongoing need for organizations like CRNI demonstrates is how frightened the despots, terrorists, zealots, and violent extremists are of their own people laughing at them. Why? Because it means that the raw fear is no longer working.
We need your help to continue our advocacy on behalf of these brave men and women, and to ensure that, in the long run, free speech and freedom of expression get the last laugh.
Make your monthly contribution or one-time gift to CRNI today.