On 5 April the Cartoonists House (Avistegnernes hus) in Drøbak opens the exhibition “Hurra for ytringsfriheten!” (“Cheers to Freedom of Expression!”), asking the question “Do cartoonists represent the freest pens in the Norwegian press?” Norwegian cartoonists have been invited to take a critical view on their role and the challenges of freedom of expression in today’s Norway.
For cartoonists living in dictatorships the smallest challenge to the political or economic powers using the weapon of satire can be dangerous and even fatal. Religious and political fundamentalists have little or no tolerance for self-ridicule. Many cartoonists defying censorship and restrictions have had to pay a high price. With the drawings of Arifur Rahman, Fadi Abou Hassan and Abdul Muhiaddin, the exhibition also represents the hidden heroes that have been subject to persecution, harassment, imprisonment and killings in their home countries.
The Norwegian cities of refuge, Drøbak and Skien, have contributed to giving them a new voice and opportunity to continue their work and their fight for freedom of expression from their new safe havens.
“City of refuge Drøbak has specialized in protecting and promoting persecuted cartoonists”, says ICORN Director Helge Lunde, “and the present exhibition demonstrates both the urgent need to protect these unique executors of free expression, and how effective and creative they can continue their work from their points of exile. ICORN works closely with The Cartoonists Rights Network International, and we are delighted that they through director Robert Russel has contributed to making this important exhibition possible.”
“Hurra for ytringsfriheten”/”Cheers to Freedom of Expression” opens at the Norwegian Cartoonists Gallery (Avistegnernes Hus) in Drøbak on 5. April at 14:00, with the presence of the cartoonists, Norwegian PEN, Elisabeth Dyvik from ICORN and Robert Russell, director of CRNI.
The exhibition is made in cooperation with Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI) and funded by Fritt Ord.