Back to Earth: Cartooning for Peace Forum in Wellington.

Wellington, New Zealand, is the latest city to experience Cartooning for Peace, an initiative of the UN HQ in New York, set in motion by French cartoonist Plantu, of the influential french daily paper, Le Monde. In Wellington, the forum is hosted by the Alliance Française de Wellington, and began with a panel discussion at Rutherford House, VUW, lecture theatre 1 this evening, in conjunction with the Institute of International Affairs.

The programme can be found at the Alliance Française.

Have a look here for more about the organisation set up by Plantu and the UN Regional Information Centre for Western Europe. This site contains an excellent slide show of works by artists associated with the organisation.

As you may have guessed, there are French cartoonists in this event – but also artists from Asia, the USA, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Turkey, Egypt, Algeria and Kenya – I highly recommend going to see the exhibition of work, in the Michael Fowler Centre foyer, on until 15th November.
I managed to speak to a couple of the cartoonists this evening, who were most entertaining, and had discussed their work as political cartoonists during the panel, hosted by Tom Scott. There are many more events this week, so I’m aiming to get to a few more, and the good news is that these are free events, the point being to spread peace by ‘unlearning intolerance’ through humour.

Quite the antidote to the current trends in media, and a pleasant way to spend an evening, hearing dessinateurs committed to peace speaking about how they convey their messages through drawing.

NZ cartoonists represented include Garrick Tremain, Malcolm Evans, Guy Body, Tom Scott, and our local regular from Capital Times, Grant Buist, who gets to trek up to Palmerston North for an evening next week.