Catalog and Memories from the LIBEX International Cartoon Competition 2022.

Catalog and Memories from the LIBEX International Cartoon Competition 2022.

Jitet Kustana (Indonesia) wins the 4th edition of the LIBEX-2022 Competition

Together with Cristina Sampaio (Portugal) second prize

and Niels Bo Bojesen (Denmark) third prize

The competition’s theme

Since the beginning of the industrial revolution and especially since its globalisation, humanity has had to face multiple challenges. Inequality, violated rights, demography, migration, poverty, pandemics, wars, power struggles and national and international hegemonies, dictatorships, fanaticism, disinformation, ignorance, are all open issues that can produce global upheavals in a short time and change the course of human history. Since 24 February 2022, there has been the threat of a third world war, or worse, a nuclear war, as well as the return of ideological, economic and geopolitical conflicts between two antagonistic hegemonic blocs. This state of affairs jeopardises the survival, if not of humanity, at least of our societies and the cohesion of the European Union.

Press cartoonists wishing to participate in the 4th edition of the international political satire competition organised by the Librexpression Centre, were invited to illustrate this tragic situation.

The competition results

281 of them, from 63 countries, submitted 490 works to the jury. The jury was composed of : Fabio Magnasciutti (Italian cartoonist), Marilena Nardi (Italian cartoonist), Tom Janssen (Dutch cartoonist), KAP (Jaume Capdevilla, Catalan cartoonist), Raffaella Spinazzi (Italian blogger) and chaired by Thierry Vissol (director of Libex). On the basis of four criteria: technique, originality, relevance and irony, the jury selected 55 works by artists from 30 countries, the 10 finalists and the 3 winners.

The exhibition

The exhibition of the 55 semi-finalist cartoons will be open to the public until 31 December, in the cloister of the San Benedetto monastery in Conversano (BA)– Italy. A color catalogue of the works exhibited, with an introduction to the theme of the competition: “Towards the End of Humanity?” is available to the public at the price of 10 euros.

The Award Ceremony

 On Saturday 24 September, the last day of the Di Vagno Foundation’s cultural festival, Lector In Fabula, in the presence of the Lord Mayor of Conversano, Giuseppe Lovascio, the director of the Apulia Region’s Culture Department, Aldo Patruno, and the president of the Foundation, Daniela Mazzucca, in an intense and moving ceremony, the three winners of the fourth edition of the Libex 2022 international cartoon competition were awarded their prizes.

It was a moving ceremony because the theme of the competition, ‘Towards the End of Humanity‘, and the works of the participating artists did not make people laugh, but their irony provoked intense emotion and reflection. Strong works addressing issues that cannot leave anyone indifferent: wars, atomic warfare, global warming, inequalities, all real and present threats to the survival of humanity.

After presenting the works of the ten finalists in the competition and asking the public to indicate their choice, Thierry Vissol, director of Librexpression and president of the jury, asked three members of the jury to present the winners and praise them. Siri Dokken, cartoonist from Norway, presented the work of Danish artist Niels Bojesen (third prize), Kap, cartoonist from Catalonia, presented the work of Portuguese artist Cristina Sampaio (second prize) and Marilena Nardi, cartoonist from Italy, presented the work of the winner, Indonesian artist Jitet Kustana.

The mayor of Conversano, Giuseppe Lovascio, and the president of the Foundation, Daniela Mazzucca, joined in their praise, emphasizing the importance of satirical press cartoons in raising public awareness and prompting critical reflection and, if possible, action to combat these scourges.

The three winners are:

First Prize: Jitet KUSTANA (Indonesia) – “Sinking into the Victims”

A self-taught cartoonist, he has been working since 1987. Although freelance, he is the regular cartoonist for the Indonesian newspaper ‘Kompas National Daily’. He also publishes his drawings in the international press. Listed in the Indonesian Museum of Records, he is recognised as the most awarded cartoonist internationally. È. Member of the Union of World Cartoonists. In addition to his sensitivity to humanistic, environmental, and social issues, he is gifted with an extraordinary technique, which he continues to perfect, to represent complexity in its smallest details, making his highly original works true works of art.

Praise of Kustana by Marilena Nardi – Cartoonist (Italy), member of the Jury:

“The cartoon that won first prize fully interprets the theme of the competition. It is a complex and articulated image, perfect in its graphic construction.

At first glance, a castaway call for help, clinging to what appears to be the yardarm of a ship; all around, swirls of blue and azure remind us of a stormy ocean… but it is an illusion, a metaphor, a graphic paradox. He is not a castaway; he is a soldier. The ship is, in fact, the wreck of his tank and above all the sea is not a sea, but a tide of civilians killed by the violence of war.

It is interesting from a graphic point of view to note how the waves are rendered through a careful composition of faces, of bodies, of figures of mothers still clutching their children. The foam of the waves is rendered with the set of arms and hands that surround the figure of the soldier, as if to accuse him, but with no more strength, no more grip. No one can save him from the maelstrom of violence he has generated. A powerful image against the horror of all wars.”

Second Prize: Cristina SAMPAIO (Portugal) – “Evolution of Warfare

Illustrator of children’s books and press cartoonist since 1986, she has won numerous international awards, including the World Press Cartoon. Her drawings have been published by major international newspapers such as Espresso, Kleine Zeitung, Courrier International, Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, Pùblico and Alternatives économiques. She also collaborates with the Portuguese television station RTP3. Her seemingly rigid and geometric stroke of great clarity allows her to tackle the most complex social and political issues with extraordinary originality and an inimitable visual impact.

Praise for Sampio by KAP – Cartoonist (Catalunya), member of the Jury

“Cristina is a rare maverick on the international satirical drawing scene.

In a profession that until recently had been practiced mainly by men, she was one of the first women to stand out strongly. Her drawings are concise, with clear, clean lines, symmetrical, tending towards geometricity, with almost childlike characters, with an astonished and somewhat helpless gaze, a style far removed from the classical canon of typical cartoons.

But her cartoons, usually devoid of words, are of a percussive force, and with high satirical charges, which, wrapped in her apparently innocent drawing, trigger strong explosions in the brains of her readers. What Cristina does is apparently easy, but in reality, is very difficult. Her drawings look childish, but in fact, they are complicated clockwork gears, with millimeter-accurate compositions. Her ideas seem simple, but contain profound reflections, which she has stripped of complexities to offer them refined to the reader’s palate. The unusual combination of her naive and candid drawing style with her biting and intellectual satire makes her an unusual artist with an uncommon communicative power.

On the other hand, Cristina was one of the first authors to start drawing with digital media, without hiding the graphic potential of virtual tools. She does not draw with the computer by simulating ink, watercolor or paper textures, but draws with the computer, enhancing the decisive, cold and mechanical stroke of the machine. And this is another of his great virtues.

As I said, she is a rare maverick in the panorama of international satirical drawing, with a unique and singular style, and with a compact, coherent and absolutely honest work.”

Third prize – Niels BOJESEN (Denmark) – “Enjoying Nature”

Journalist, press cartoonist and illustrator of children’s books. He graduated from the Danish School of Design and studied at SVA (Media Arts) in New York. He creates political satirical drawings for international websites and media, and for the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. He has won numerous international awards and is a member of the Danish Association of Journalists, the Association of Editorial Cartoonists, the Cartoon Movement and a board member of the Danish Museum of Political Cartooning. His cartoons, which address all current social and political issues, are in the tradition of the “clear line”, with a search for maximum simplicity based on a very complex economy of means. In addition to their ironic relevance, they are always of great sensitivity and measure.

Praise of Bo Bojesen by Siri Dokken – cartoonist (Norway), member of the jury

“I had the pleasure of meeting Niels Bo Bojesen a couple of years ago when we attended a festival together. I was already familiar with his work: the exquisite line, tempered color, and classy composition. But also, his warm and understated, yet very touching and, at times, dark humor. His cartoons belong to a tradition to which I feel a kinship, and if there is a Scandinavian style, Niels is its main representative. Having met Niels, I can also see how the traits inherent in his drawings are very much reflected in his personality and vice-versa.

A Swedish satirical artist, Gunna Grähs, whom I often quote, said: ‘Satire is actually more or less like spoon-feeding to small children. Because in the beginning you must make funny faces, silly noises, and then, when the child starts laughing and his mouth is open, you stick the real content into him”.

And this cartoon does just that: at first it seems funny, but in reality, it is tragic.

Niels Bo Bojesen is a valued member of the European press cartoonist community and boasts an incredible list of awards, prizes, and honors. And now, adding to the very long list, is the third prize in this year’s Libex competition.”

The seven other finalists praised by the jury and the public are in alphabetical order:

– Apolo Doroteo Guerra Mechain (Peru)

– Ilya Katz (Israel)

– Paolo Lombardi (Italie)

– TRAX (Christine Traxeler – France)

– Vladimir Kazanevsky (Ukraine)

And, with special mention from the jury and the audience:

– Elena Ospina (Colombia) ‘Infestation’

– Gatis Sluka (Latvia): “Russian Tank“.

Thanks to all world cartoonists who participated to the competition and congratulations to the 55 semifinalists and winners.

catalogo2022-Alta definizione

Courtesy: Mr. Thierry Vissol

Greetings from India Toons