The Cartoon Rights Network International is a human rights organisation fighting for the protection of creative, personal and human freedoms of cartoonists around the world. Terry Anderson is a board member and broke away from his drawing duties in the square to gave a talk about CRNI at the Claremont in Central Street.
The UK enjoys a healthy democracy where freedom of expression isn’t a concern for cartoonists. Steve Bell or Martin Rowson would be good examples of UK cartoonists who enjoy the freedom to draw and say whatever they want. Other countries are not so fortunate and cartoonists can’t enjoy the same freedom. Criticism of those in power is not tolerated and they suffer as a result. Charlie Hebdo is the most prominent example but sadly there are cartoonists being imprisoned and persecuted. The CRNI exists to help such people and defend liberties.
Terry’s talk gave an overview of the work the CRNI do and several examples of cartoonists whose situation prompted their involvement. He says;
“In April I had the opportunity to speak about CRNI and our work at the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival. As might be expected the audience included several cartoonists including America’s Hilary Price and some local Amnesty International volunteers as well as regular festival attendees. It was a truly public event in a church hall and had the feeling of a lecture, with a thoughtful Q&A afterwards. There were a few things I wanted to highlight, most importantly the plight of Iranian cartoonist Atena Farghadani who at the time was still in prison in Tehran. Happily she has since regained her liberty.”
You can find out more about the CRNI at their website; http://cartoonistsrights.org/
Terry’s website is; http://terrytoon.com/