Cartoonists At Risk and Their Defenders

by Sampsonia Way    /  June 3, 2013  / No comments

Art To Die For


Cartoonists Rights Network International
(CRNI) was the first cartoon-focused human rights organization when it was founded in 1992. Created by Sri Lankan cartoonist Jiffry Yoonis and development consultant Robert Russell, CRNI collaborates with a network of cartoonists from around the world. These affiliates keep the organization informed on what is happening to their colleagues in their respective countries. Sampsonia Way spoke to co-founder Robert Russell and four of CRNI’s affiliates, located in the most dangerous countries for political artists. In this series we present these affiliates and a slideshow of cartoons from their country.

Art to Die For: Cartoonists at Risk and Their Defenders

by Olivia Stransky




Robert Russell explains how he came to co-found CRNI with persecuted cartoonist Jiffry Yoonoos, which countries are the most dangerous for cartooning, and his most memorable moments working for the organization.

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Bangladeshi Cartoonist Arifur Rahman on Calling a Cat “Mohammad”

by Olivia Stransky




Cartoonist-in-exile Arifur Rahman discusses the most dangerous topic to illustrate in Bangladesh, being blacklisted, and self-censorship.

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Egyptian Cartoonist Doaa El Adl on Criticizing Genital Mutilation and Politicians

by Olivia Stransky




Egyptian cartoonist Doaa El Adl discusses the challenges for a female cartoonist, censorship in Egypt, and her cartoon on female circumcision.

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Iranian Cartoonist Kianoush Ramezani on Three Kinds of Cartoons

by Olivia Stransky




Cartoonist-in-exile Kianoush Ramezani describes the three kinds of cartoonists in Iran, government controlled cultural institutions, and the government efforts to control the internet.

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Tunisian Cartoonist Lilia Halloul on Drawing Tunisia’s New Freedom of Expression

by Olivia Stransky




Tunisian cartoonist Lilia Halloul discusses how her country’s revolution has created an uncertain new landscape for free expression in cartooning.

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About the Author

Sampsonia Way is an online magazine sponsored by City of Asylum/Pittsburgh that seeks to protect and advocate for writers who may be endangered, to educate the public about threats to writers and literary expression, and to create a community in which endangered writers thrive and literary culture is a valued part of life.

View all articles by Sampsonia Way

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