The second Cartooning Global Forum / États Généraux du Dessin de Presse / المنتدى العام لرسوم الصحف took place at locations around Paris October 1st through 3rd and once again CRNI had a leadership role in the event.
For the second year running Cartoonists Rights Network International has assisted in the effort to bring together cartoonists, the organisations that represent them and experts from affiliated fields together for a working day where best practice can be shared and the future of our profession and art form discussed, all as we make efforts to persevere through unprecedented hostility from authoritarian regimes and dwindling interest from increasingly risk-averse and cash-strapped news media.
This year and ambitious three-day programme was mounted. To begin, cartoonists and educators spent an afternoon discussing freedom of expression and the significance of dessin de presse with students from multiple Parisian schools. We were hosted by the Mairie de Paris at the Hôtel de Ville and the diplomas given at the end of the day’s activities were co-signed by the mayor Anne Hidalgo as well as Serge Barbet, director of CLEMI the French government’s media literacy organisation, and the main organisers on the forum’s steering committee.
The second day was the main working session at Mairie Quatre Paris with warm welcoming words from the 4th arrondissement’s mayor Ariel Weil. Over one hundred delegates from twenty nations participated in two grand roundtable discussions focusing on education and peace & justice (see below). As ever there were multiple and strident commitments made to the principles of freedom of expression and resistance to censorship in all its forms. Never the less, multiple participants stated concerns about “hate speech” and bad actors who utilise cartoons to what might be regarded as nefarious ends. This indicates that our shared conversation is moving on to a new phase, where many cartoonists are perhaps ready to recognise that, in the words of our dear friend Zunar, talent is a responsibility.
At the conclusion of the day it was announced that going forward the CGF’s online material will be provided in Arabic as well as French and English. This is a very welcome addition and we are appreciative of the great effort put in by Abdellah Bennabbou and Mohamad Saadani of the Moroccan Association of Cartoonists to achieve this.
The third and final day was split between the Bibliotéque National de France where an absorbing discussion concerning the preservation and marketing of cartoons was convened and the Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne law faculty where we were very privileged to have been given space in which to mount a display of work by the two most recent Courage in Cartooning Award winners, PX Molina and Badiucao.
The tangible outcome of these forums is a set of recommendations made with reference to several of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. In this way, it is hoped that our work can more readily dovetail with that undertaken by governmental agencies, academic and cultural institutions, NGOs and other professional associations around the world. These recommendations are a work in progress and will be revised each year. 2018’s edition is still available with the the next to come very soon.
We are enormously grateful to all members of the CGF’s steering and international committees and most especially Nicolas Jacquette & Jérôme Liniger (directors, Studio Irresistible) and Chloé Verlhac-Tignous (director of publishing, Editions Les Petites Teignes). We look forward to working with them again next fall.