Friday, August 31, 2012

Travelling art rolls through Calgary

An international editorial cartoon exhibit entitled Freedom of Expression in Broad Strokes is being co-presented by The City of Calgary in partnership with the Central Public Library (Aug. 31 – Sept. 7), EPCOR CENTRE for the Performing Arts (Sept. 7 - 14) and ACAD (Alberta College of Art + Design) Sept. 14 – 21.

This travelling exhibit of editorial cartoons was put together by the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom (CCWPF). It is currently traveling across Canada where it is displayed in cities, like Calgary, that are members of the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities against Racism and Discrimination.

Since 2001, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and the CCWPF have organized an annual international competition for editorial cartoonists in conjunction with the awarding of the CCWPF Press Freedom Award to a Canadian journalist who has suffered in the cause of press freedom. Over 700 cartoons are received each year, and the winners are honoured in Ottawa on World Press Freedom Day. The exhibit presents the best editorial cartoons received since the beginning of the competition.

“The editorial cartoon offers a daily commentary on a current news event. Through satire, humour and caricature, the cartoonists offer a unique point of view. Freedom of expression is as critical to the cartoonist’s work as it is to all journalists. The exhibit presents many facets of freedom of expression and freedom of the press as depicted by cartoonists from around the world”, said David A. Walden, Secretary-General of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.

In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly declared May 3 as World Press Freedom Day. This day is used 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. The day is also now used to draw attention to the dangers faced by journalists when reporting the news as, according to Reporters without Borders, 66 journalists were killed, 1,044 arrested, 1,959 (including cartoonists) were physically attacked or threatened, and 71 were kidnapped in 2011 alone.

For more information on CCWPF, visit www.ccwpf-cclpm.ca.

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