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Cartoons in Times of Authoritarianism
March 18, 2015 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Freedom of expression is under threat in Ecuador and Venezuela. In Ecuador, President Rafael Correa has used restrictive laws, defamation lawsuits, and politicized institutions to silence his media critics and punish those who publish opinions with which he disagrees. In Venezuela, previously independent news outlets have faced government restrictions and been bought up by government cronies, greatly limiting coverage of government repression of street protests and all but eliminating traditional independent media.
In the face of these challenging circumstances, many journalists have continued their work, often at significant personal and professional risk. Ecuadorian cartoonist Bonil has come under attack from the authorities for his satirical depictions of President Rafael Correa and other government leaders, most recently being accused of “socioeconomic discrimination” for a cartoon published in August 2014. Bonil has repeatedly indicated that he has many more cartoons up his sleeve.
Rayma, who published cartoons for the newspaper El Universal for nearly 20 years, was fired in September 2014 for a cartoon satirizing the Venezuelan health care system, which included the signature of the late President Hugo Chavez. She, too, has insisted that she will continue to share her political critiques freely.
Following the Charlie Hebdo assassinations, there is increased attention to cartoonists and freedom of expression. Please join us for a discussion with Bonil and Rayma on their creative methods for challenging growing restrictions on political speech, and using humor to contest power and the status quo.
Lunch will be provided