Writing in Sunday’s edition of the New York Times, Pulitzer prize-winning columnist Nicholas Kristof bemoans the apparent lack of traction American satirists are gaining in the run up to the presidential election and name-checks three past winners of CRNI’s Courage in Cartooning Award among the world’s foremost “incisive social and political critics”.
Of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, the column says the work of Zunar helped “topple” his corrupt regime and the cartoonist “persevered despite prosecutions and physical attacks.”
Zapiro was sued for damage to reputation by South African president Jacob Zuma. Kristof reports the cartoonist’s response as “Would that be your reputation as a disgraced chauvinist demagogue who can’t control his sexual urges and who thinks a shower prevents AIDS?”
And he describes how “Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi is still nicknamed ‘Crocodile’ because of a cartoon” by Nik Kowsar, a valued member of CRNI’s board of directors and contending with fallout from the regime despite years in exile.
Kristof rightly points out that cartoonists are “an endangered species”. Earlier in the year we wrote about the most pressing issues facing the global community in an emergency statement with Cartooning For Peace and Cartoon Movement.
The winner of the Robert Russell Courage in Cartooning Award 2020 will be announced early in October.