On Wednesday, October 12 the Center for European and Transatlantic Studies – along with France Atlanta 2016 brought Cartooning for Peace to Georgia Tech for a fun, engaging and provocative reflection of free speech in a democratic society. ‘The Art of Democracy’ featured Plantu (Jean Plantureux, Le Monde, France), Mike Luckovich (Atlanta Journal Constitution, US) and Michel Kichka (Courrier International, Israel/Belgium). These award-winning cartoonists engaged in a fascinating discussion about their careers, their inspiration and how they came to be involved in Cartooning for Peace.
The event attracted an audience of several hundred, notably students from local high schools and the Georgia Tech Lorraine campus who joined via a live-stream (pictured). The discussion addressed the value of political cartoons in the context of freedom of speech in democratic societies – summarized by Michel Kichka who argued that a democracy with no political cartoons would be a “sick democracy”. The students queried the panelists on causing offence, religious beliefs, and personal boundaries. A hot topic of discussion was the current US presidential election, with Mike Luckovich providing commentary on his recent work depicting Donald Trump in particular. The artists also explained the creative process, from the initial idea to the final product. They also entertained the audience by showing off some of their previous work in addition to drawing ‘live’ on stage.
This France-Atlanta 2016 event was made possible with the support of our co-sponsors, the Raymond F. Schinazi and Family Foundation, Cartooning for Peace – America, the Center for Civil and Human Rights, the Atlanta Press Club, Elevate Atlanta and the Atlanta Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs.
A video of the event is available here.