The inaugural États Généraux du Dessin de Presse / Cartooning Global Forum took place at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris on October 3rd.
A new initiative to bring the world’s cartoonists and the organisations that support them together for a focused day of work each year, the first meeting took place under the gracious auspices of the Délégation Permanente de la France aupres de l’UNESCO and His Excellency M. Laurent Stefanini.
The steering committee for the event were:
- Nicolas Jacquette (director, Studio Irresistible)
- Jérôme Liniger (director, Studio Irresistible)
- Gérard Vandenbroucke (honorary president, Centre Permanent du Dessin de Presse, Saint-Just-le-Martel)
- Corinne Villegier (director, Centre Permanent et Salon International de la Caricature du Dessin de Presse et d’Humour, Saint-Just-le-Martel)
- Chloé Verlhac-Tignous (director of publishing, Editions Les Petites Teignes)
- Patric Pinter (cartoonist for l’Orient le Jour)
- Terry Anderson (deputy executive director, CRNI)
Discussion was broken into two roundtables, taking “Cartooning as Tool for Peace and Justice” and “Pedagogy, Field Actions & Education Policies” as the themes, drawn from the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 2030. Mr. Anderson moderated the morning discussion, saying in his opening remarks:
“We’ve heard much in recent years about cartoonists as ‘canaries in the coal mine’ and how our problems are early indicators of a wider, insidious and worsening chilling of freedom of expression. I’ve used the metaphor myself in the past but increasingly I dislike it as it implies a degree of fragility and dispensability. We are not victims or victims in waiting. We are essential to the health of press and media and therefore crucial to democracy.”
Among the participants were delegates from IFEX, of which we are a member, as well as our partner organisations the PCO and Africartoons and friends from CartonClub, United Sketches, Index on Censorship, CPJ and many others. Free to travel intentionally once again, our past Courage in Cartooning Award winner Zunar was also present. In total some two dozen nations had representation in the forum.
Recommendations from the first États Généraux du Dessin de Presse will be refined in the coming months and published ahead of World Press Freedom Day, May 3rd 2019 and the next meeting will take in Paris the following October.
CRNI are very pleased to be part of this ongoing conversation and look forward to an even larger, broader forum next year.