Our longtime friend and colleague Kianoush Ramanzani has, through his organization United Sketches, announced the creation of a new cartooning award specifically for women: the Women Cartoonists International Award.
UPDATE! The award offers two prizes: a €3,000 Grand Prix and another of €1,500 for cartoonists under 26 years of age.
While we normally don’t promote every cartooning contest that comes to our inbox, Deputy Exec. Director Terry Anderson and I concur that this is something singularly important. Women cartoonists, who normally occupy less than 5% of the political cartooning community in recent years have nonetheless emerged as some of the most powerful and effective image-makers in the world. They have carved out a new space for their voices with sharp elbows and sharper pens, especially during and after the Arab Spring movement as well as in Southern Asia.
It is completely appropriate that women have their own exhibitions, their own contests and their own award ceremonies. This competition brings their work not only to the attention of the world but to the attention of the greater cartooning community – especially editors and publishers who are left the poorer if they don’t make space for a diverse range of creative perspectives.
We endorse the competition and invite other cartooning organizations to join with us in celebrating this new effort in recognition of the importance of the satirical voice of 50% of the population. Not simply because they are women, but because they are superb communicators.
If anyone would like to send funds to help in establishing this competition please donate directly to United Sketches or send it to us (the Donate button can be found to the right) earmarked for Women’s Cartoonists International Award. We will make sure your pledge goes straight to the organizers without any administrative costs taken out.
Dr. Robert “Bro” Russell, Executive Director