On 3 May 2012 I was honored to be present at the awards ceremony for the first International Prize of Cartooning for Peace. Kofi Annan, Honorary President of Cartooning for Peace and Pierre Maudet, Mayor of the City of Geneva, Jean Plantu, cartoonist for Le Monde, and Patrick Chappatte, cartoonist for the International Herald Tribune presented the prize to four Iranian artists, representing a new generation of brave and talented artists. Their names are Firoozeh Mozafarri, Kianoush Ramenzani, Hassan Karimzadeh and Mana Neyewstani.
I was on the jury, and it was difficult to decide what cartoonist(s) should receive the prize. There are many artists working to help speak to freedom of the press. But in the end we chose these four artists for the beauty and strength of their work and their bravery in speaking out in the face of difficulties. I also believe that Firoozeh Mozafarri is representative of a voice of women journalists around the globe. A voice very much in need of being heard.
Meanwhile, from May 3 to June 3, 2012, the public can see drawings of the award-winning Iranian artists along Lake Geneva. The exhibition Drawings for Peace 2012 will also feature a hundred cartoons from cartoonists around the world on the themes of freedom of expression, the Arab spring and the situation of women today.
Winners: Kianoush, Firoozeh, Hassan (Mana was unable to attend)