I think they already achieved all of these. It is sorrowful, because their achievements destroy, like an earthquake, the core premise of the cartoonist world: the responsibility of guiding our drawing and the understanding that a cartoon that humiliates the most vulnerable, cannot take part in the civilized world principles.
I, as a political cartoonist, am committed to freedom of expression. I have been prosecuted by the Venezuelan totalitarian government. I knew two cartoonists murdered in the Charlie Hebdo shooting: Tygnous and Cabu. I have defended at international forums, the cartoonist’s right to life and respect against fanatics attacks, but I can only feel astonishment and shame at watching this drawing and express my categorical rejection of them.
The cartoon is a meeting point with intelligence, achieved through the creative drawing. Its goal is to denounce the universal miseries, not to become part of them or feed them.
I do not want to miss the opportunity to write about the cartoon published by the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, regarding the earthquake victims in Italy.
Are they just looking to get attention with their cruel drawings? Do they want the test if it is possible for the entire world to get pissed off? Do they want to boost sales from scandals?
“Italians, it isn’t Charlie Hebdo who build your homes, it is the mob”.
Humor does not promote war, but peace. Peace as a dynamic figure, not as a symbol of a lifeless dove in its comfort zone, but as a complex freehand work of art. The cartoon disarms barbarism with precise intelligence, ridicules it, and exposes its backward path, trying to destroy centuries of civilization built by our ancestors. The cartoon does not work with absolute truths, and it does not pretend to impose anything. The cartoon does not act as a terrorist kamikaze that explodes in the victim’s stomach. In fact, the cartoon takes you to a space where to bring and reflect on civilized ideas.
Insulting, promoting xenophobia and racism, and making fun of victim’s grief, after receiving the support and solidarity from around the world as the magazine Charlie Hebdo did, crosses the line of ethics and exposes them as allies of the worst obscurantism. The only thing missing is cartoons where they make fun of their assassinated peers and support their killers. Morbidness sells. A historical example can be the anti-Semitic Nazi propaganda. It consisted of posters, movies, and drawings that represented the “Wandering Jew” as a “social parasite” and ridiculized him even for his physical appearance.
There are many ways of killing a person or society, and cartoons can be one of them. So, cartoonists have and ethical responsibility of taking the pencil with the purpose of exalting the universal values of working for a better world, protecting the weak and leveraging freedom without exercising cruelty; in other words, make cartoons allies of a civilized world.
By Rayma – Cartoonist de Cartooning for Peace