The Scottish Artists Union (SAU) holds its annual general meeting this Saturday, 14.00-17.00 at Dundee Contemporary Arts.
As part of the programme I will be giving a talk about cartoonists' reaction to the killings at the Charlie Hebdo offices last January as well as the work of Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI), the human rights organisation for cartoonists who are imprisoned, persecuted or threatened because of their work. CRNI recently gave their Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award to Atena Farghadani, the Iranian visual artist currently serving a twelve year, nine month jail sentence for "insulting member of parliament through paintings" and "insulting the supreme leader" after posting a cartoon to Facebook. Atena may be charged with further counts of "indecency" and "adultery" after shaking hands with her defence lawyer. We have learned she is suffering from a lymphatic illness and has chosen hunger strike as her only means to object to her treatment in prison. Atena's case is just one of many CRNI are watching closely and using all the tools at their disposal to resolve. Please consider donating in support of their cause.
The AGM in Dundee is open to all SAU members who I am pleased to note now number more than thirteen hundred. I was president of the union for several years and will be working more closely with CRNI in the future so it is pleasure to bring the two together in this way. More on CRNI in the coming weeks.