Kofi Annan Courage in Cartooning Award 2024 winners

Kofi Annan Courage in Cartooning Award 2024 winners
On the left Plantu, in the centre Rachita Taneja and behind Zunzi. Photo by Mikaal Ahmad. Source: Freedom Cartoonists Foundation

On 3 May, World Press Freedom Day, the Freedom Cartoonists Foundation recognises the talent and courage of cartoonists working in difficult circumstances with an award that has been given every two years since 2012, alternating with the international award given every two years by Cartoonists Rights in the United States.

The Kofi Annan Award for Courage in the Vignette 2024 was presented by Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dr Shirin Ebadi during a public ceremony at the Geneva Graduate Institute (Geneva).


This year's awards went to two cartoonists from India and Hong Kong. According to the organisers, these were the reasons for awarding them:

Rachita Taneja (India)

In her popular webcomic Sanitary Panels, young Rachita Taneja draws chronicles of everyday life in India.

She is threatened with imprisonment following a complaint filed by a member of India's ruling nationalist party. She is attacked for her cartoons critical of patriarchy, intolerance and authoritarianism.

His cartoons on the hijab ban in schools sparked new threats in 2022.

Related | Documentary. Drawing to resist.

Zunzi, (Hong Kong)

In May 2023, Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao fired Zunzi, its cartoonist since 1983. The decision followed months of criticism of Zunzi by officials since Beijing passed national security laws in 2020 that have reshaped Hong Kong's arts, culture and media.

Kofi Annan Courage in Cartooning Award 2024 winners
Zunzi in 2012 / Wikipedia

His cartoons were denounced by officials for their"prudish humour that damages Hong Kong's image" and described as"too distorting and unethical".

On the foundation's website you can watch a couple of True Heroes Films videos about the authors.

About the Freedom Cartoonist

On 16 October 2006, at the United Nations headquarters in New York, Kofi Annan, then UN Secretary-General, and Plantu, a cartoonist for the French daily Le Monde, brought together cartoonists from around the world for a conference entitled "Unlearning Intolerance". This symposium launched the Cartooning for Peace project, which gave rise to an Association of the same name in Paris and, four years later, to a Foundation in Geneva.

The Foundation carries out its mission through two main activities: the biennial International Cartoonist Award, accompanied by an exhibition of cartoons, and the fund to support editorial cartoonists under threat. They also organise other educational projects aimed at promoting creativity, tolerance and understanding of human rights.

Kofi Annan Courage in Cartooning Award 2024 winners

Humour in trouble, a collection of cases
Cases of cartoonists who have had problems of some importance because of their cartoons or satirical illustrations. There are also some stories of other people who, without being cartoonists, have got into trouble for sharing them.

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