Cartoons are created to tickle our funny bone.
Political cartoons, however, are no laughing matter. While they hold us in stitches, they can be deadly sometimes. Ask Charlie Hebdo.
The Manila Times condemns violence in whatever form, including those ignited by incendiary political cartoons. That’s why it is pushing for the success of the “Cartooning for Peace” project by hosting one of its foreign participants.
Raoul Imbach, Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Switzerland, visited The Times office on Tuesday to complete arrangements for the special visit of Swiss cartoonist Philippe Baumann on May 6.
Baumann will be The Manila Times’ guest cartoonist for its May 7 issue.
Spearheaded by the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) Philippines, the “Cartooning for Peace” project will bring to the country in May five European cartoonists from the Cartooning for Peace international network.
EUNIC Philippines is composed of Alliance Francaise de Manille, Goethe-Institut Philippinen, along with the embassies of Denmark, France and Switzerland.
Apart from Baumann, Imbach said the visiting cartoonists include Plantu (France), president of Cartooning for Peace, Bob Katzenelson (Denmark) and Thomas Plassman and Miriam Wurster (both from Germany).
The participating local cartoonists are Steven Pabalinas (The Manila Times), Roni Santiago (Manila Bulletin), Mannix Abrera (Philippine Daily Inquirer), Rene Aranda (Philippine Star), Norman Isaac (Tempo) and freelancer Rob Cham.
The 11 cartoonists will participate in a series of conferences. Other activities include master classes, interviews and cartooning workshops in reputable universities such as De La Salle University, University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas.
Founded at the UN headquarters in New York in 2006 by the then-UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Plantu, Cartooning for Peace is a network of 130 cartoonists around the world who use the power and language of images to fight for peace and freedom of expression.
Among its objectives is to encourage understanding among different cultures and beliefs using editorial cartoons.
The Manila event in May hopes to raise awareness on the role of cartoonists in promoting peace and fighting prejudice. It hopes to provide opportunities for interaction between local cartoonists and their international counterparts.
The event is also expected to open opportunities for Filipino journalists, members of the academe and the general public to share their insight, interact with and learn from the visiting cartoonists.