European Exhibition on Freedom of Expression

A Beautiful European exhibition on freedom of expression

The Editorial Cartoons Exhibition “Down with Satire”

Competition Libex-2020 – September-December 2020

The cartoons’ exhibition ironically intitled “Dawn with Satire” is the result of an international contest of editorial cartoons, Libex-2020, on the theme “Freedom of expression and political satire in danger”. The contest and the exhibition are organized by the Euro-Mediterranean Center Librexpression part of the Italian Foundation Giuseppe Di Vagno (1889-1921), in collaboration with Cartooning for Peace (  and the multilingual web magazine The 55 selected cartoons are exhibited in the Castle-Museum of Conversano (South Italy) from the 25th of September to the 6th of December in the occasion of the 16th edition of the Foundation Di Vagno festival Lector In Fabula.

The selection of the 55 cartoons exhibited, was operated by an international high-level Jury composed by 5 cartoonists: Kal (USA), Rayma (Venezuela), Cristina Sampaio (Venezuela), Michel Kichka (Israel), Khalid Gueddar (Morocco) and 2 journalists (Catherine André, from Voxeurop, France), Carlo Gubitosa (Mamma!, Italy/Belgium) with Thierry Vissol (Director of Librexpression) as president. The competition has been organized as a film festival, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights, which article 10 guarantees freedom of expression in the 47 countries Member of the Council of Europe.

Therefore, 160 editorial cartoonists living in one of the 47 countries have been selected by the organizers and invited to participate to the competition and to send cartoons on the theme of freedom of expression. 118 of them, from 41 countries, sent 287 cartoons. Due to the initial selection, the level was extremely high rendering very difficult the task of the Jury to select the 55 semi-finalists (presented in the exhibition), the 10 finalists and the 3 winners.

The 10 finalists are: Pol Leurs (Luxemburg), Milenko Kosanovic (Serbia), Niels Bo Bojesen (Denmark), Adene (France/Spain), Pierre Ballouhey (France), Patrick Chappatte (Switzerland), Fabio Magnasciutti (Italy), Joep Bertrams (Netherland), Agim Sulaj (Albania/Italy) and Marilena Nardi (Italy).

The three winners are, by unanimity of the Jury:

  • first prize: Marilena Nardi
  • Second prize: Agim Sulaj
  • Third prize: Joep Bertrams

A paper and web catalogue of the exhibition has been published. The PDF of the catalogue is available on demand.Text of the exhibition introductory Panel:

Down with Satire!

On the 4th of November 1950, the Council of Europe Members signed in Rome The European Convention on Human Rights. Its Article 10 provides that: “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authorities and regardless of frontiers”.

To ensure respect for these rights, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) was created in 1957. Since 1976, the judgment Handyside has consistently made case law. The Court confirms that freedom of expression “applies not only to “information” or “ideas” welcomed or regarded as harmless or indifferent, but also to those which bump, shock or concern the State or any fraction of the population. This is what are pluralism, tolerance and spirit of openness without which there is no democratic society demand“.

Nevertheless, for many reasons, these rights are made a game of. More and more journalists and editorial cartoonists are victims of murders, assaults, kidnappings, physical intimidation, imprisonment, arrests, travel bans, police harassment, politically motivated lawsuits, asset freezing or seizure, vandalism, cyber-attacks, online harassment, blacklisting and bullying.

Freedom of expression, political satire and therefore democracy are nowadays in danger.

An exhibition from the Centre LIBREXPRESSION/ LIBEX – Fondazione Giuseppe Di Vagno.                           Organized by: Thierry Vissol, Presentation: Rocco De Benedictis, Graphic Project: Vincenzo Perillo.

Thanks to the Jury’s Members: Catherine André (France), Cristina Sampaio (Portugal), Rayma Suprani (Venezuela), Carlo Gubitosa (Italy), Kevin Kallaugher – KAL (USA), Michel Kichka (Israel), Patrick Lamassoure – KAK (France), Khalid Gueddar (Marocco), Thierry Vissol (Europe)

 Courtesy: Thierry Vissol

Agim Sulaj 

Greetings From:India Toons