I’m today’s guest on apolitical, the podcast that welcomes guests from every party and none and is part of the very healthy independent news and media scene in Scotland. It was a pleasure to talk with Iain and Gerry – check out their Columbo podcast too – and I hope they’ll have me back.
For those interested the episode’s page on their website has lots of relevant links but I want to provide a bit more detail on some of the things that came up in the conversation.
Organisations who work in defence of cartoonists and their work:
The episode was recorded a month ago. Where it more recent I certainly would have talked for longer about Atena Farghadani, the Iranian visual artist who has begun a 12 year prison sentence over a cartoon portraying parliamentarians as apes and cattle. Cartoonists everywhere are drawing in solidarity with her. In addition many are calling for a boycott of Iran and the issue has further divided the membership of the Federation of European Cartoonists Organisations who were already at odds over the Second International Holocaust Cartoon Competition taking place in Iran, a prime example of causing offence for offence's sake, the flip side of that pathetic display of Mohammed cartoons in Texas I mention in the podcast. I believe activities such as these only make it harder for cartoonists to claim the moral right to be as vulgar and belittling as we please about those who truly deserve it: whomsoever has the whip hand in any given country or culture.
The other persecuted cartoonists I alluded to were Zunar in Malaysia and Mohammed Saba’aneh in Palestine. The CRNI has information on all of the above as well as all the cartoonists who have been threatened, prosecuted, fined, jailed, beaten, disappeared or murdered in recent years.
The post-Charlie Hebdo book referred to is called Draw The Line Here and can be purchased online with a portion of money raised going to the families of those who died in January's violence in Paris.
Finally, a big chunk of the podcast was devoted to last year’s Auld Acquaintance exhibition tour. I want to give a special mention to my friends at Leiper Fine Art who were our venue in Glasgow. There will be an announcement very shortly on where and when it can be seen next!