February 11, 2016

Minefield Cartoon


One year ago, on January 7, 2015, terrorism attacked freedom of expression with the assault on the satire magazine Charlie Hebdo. The slogan “Je suis Charlie” became ubiquitous. All of Europe showed its solidarity with France. Many citizens living in capital cities placed garlands of flowers in front of the French embassies. The European media reproduced caricatures as a show of solidarity.

European cultural organizations hold on to the belief in the freedom of expression, and refuse to avoid difficult topics. Four caricaturists accepted our invitation to participate in a discussion about these questions: Steven Degryse (LECTTRR) from Belgium, Ann Telnaes (The Washington Post), Kevin Kallaugher (The Economist), Matt Wuerker (Politico).

In cooperation with the Embassy of Belgium and the House of Flanders, New York.

This Iconoclash program was also supported by the Delegation of the European Union to the United States, the British Council, the Embassy of Slovenia, the Austrian Cultural Forum, the Goethe-Institut, EUNIC and New York University.

The freedom which was accepted throughout Europe after the Peace of Westphalia (1648) and which formed the core of liberalism is being seriously threatened today. For whoever avails himself of the freedom upon which our ability to express and accept criticism is based may face the threat of death as a result. Withstanding this challenge and finding institutions that continue to protect this freedom is an imminently urgent task. We are confronted with a fundamental shift in thinking: freedom of expression can cost lives. Time will tell what consequences this has – will there be an image policy to prevent conflicts? Or will we maintain our position in editorial departments, at universities, in art and politics?

YOUTUBE MEDIA
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Lectrr (Steven Degryse)

Lectrr (Steven Degryse)

Kevin Kallaugher

Kevin Kallaugher

Ann Telnaes

Ann Telnaes

Matt Wuerker

Matt Wuerker