Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Freedom in Broad Strokes" Exhibition (Stratford, PEI)

From the Mike Lynch Cartoons blog.

Above: the Stratford Town Centre entrance, Stratford, Prince Edward Island, Canada.

The cartoon highlight of our recent trip to Prince Edward Island was seeing the traveling exhibit of international editorial cartoons titled "Freedom of Expression in Broad Strokes."

Created by the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom (CCWPF), the show "will be displayed in cities that are members of the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities against Racism and Discrimination." 

The show originally opened May 3, 2011, World Press Freedom Day, in Ottawa.
In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly declared May 3 as World Press Freedom Day to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and to remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Day is also now used to draw attention to the dangers faced by journalists when reporting the news. In 2010, 87 journalists were killed, while a further 51 were kidnapped, and more than one thousand media workers including cartoonists were physically attacked or threatened with violence while doing their job.
Since 2001, there's been an annual international competition for best editorial cartoon. The cartoons exhibited are all from this contest held by the CCWPF in conjunction with its Press Freedom Award. 

The 2011 winners are here.

In the lobby of the Stratford Town Centre, the sun streams in and strikes the metal braces that are in the interior of each of these pillars, creating a fenced-in pattern over the image of a cartoonist in shackles, holding an inky brush. It's drawn by Roar Hagen of Norway.

The cover of the brochure.

Here are a few cartoons from the exhibit.

The first woman to win the Pulitzer prize for editorial cartooning in 1992, Signe Wilkinson draws for the Philadelphia Daily News.

"I try to find humour in some of the most vicious events that happen on a daily basis in Baghdad," says Mohammad Al Adwani. Like a many other artists in Iraq he has received death threats.

Trained as an architect, Anton Reisinger's cartoons have appeared in many international magazines.

Clay Bennett draws for the Chattanooga Time Free Press and won a Pulitzer Prize in 2002.

Some great cartoons here with stunning use of universal visual metaphors. 

The gallery show consists of a series of three-sided freestanding pillars, about eight feet high. Each pillar has three or four editorial cartoon prints on each side, with context for the cartoon and credits. 

Looks like these structures can be easily collapsed and transported to the next location.

Well worth seeing just for the breadth of the talent and the international scope.

Thanks to Bado's Blog, here is the "Freedom of Expression in Broad Strokes" exhibition tour schedule:
  • Ottawa ON, June 20-28, 2011, Constitution Square, 350 Albert St.
  • Aurora ON, July 9-August 14, 2011, Aurora Cultural Centre.
  • Stratford PEI, August 18-September 14, 2011, Stratford Recreation Office.
  • Moose Jaw SK, September 19-October 7, 2011, Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery.
  • Wetaskiwin AB, October 10-20, 2011, Westakiwin Library.
  • Québec QC, October 25-November 20, 2011, Musée de la civilisation du Québec.
  • Toronto ON, November 23-25, 2011, Fairmont Royal York Hotel.
  • Orleans ON, January 2-19, 2012, Shenkman Arts Centre.
  • Gatineau QC, January 2012, Maison du citoyen.
  • Vaughan ON, February 26-March 3, 2012, Vaughan Public Librairies.
  • Saint John NB, March 7-28, 2012, Millennium Artplace.
  • Paris, April 2012, UNESCO Headquarters.
  • Thunder Bay ON, April-May 2012, Thunder Bay Art Gallery.
  • Calgary AB, August 31-September 21, 2012, Calgary City Hall.

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