The World Press Cartoon 2013 carries the scars of the financial crisis – not in quality but in the themes chosen.
Sponsorship was also hit by the crisis this year with some companies abandoning the annual event in Sintra in Portugal.
So it wasn’t surprising that the Grand Prix, the first prize, in the editorial category went to a crisis-themed cartoon by Greek artist Kountouris.
He said: “I dedicate it to the victims of the crisis and I wish that very soon we can have the Europe we all want, the Europe which cares about the people and not the banks.”
More than 500 press cartoons published in 63 countries were shown in Sintra.
The forum has been running for nine years.
Portugal will hold municipal elections in the autumn. The current mayor of Sintra have said they will not stand again, but both he and the director of the cartoon forum are reluctant to contemplate the end of the World Press Cartoon forum.
Mayor Fernando Seara said: “I will continue to come to Sintra to visit future World Press Cartoons. I think they’ll be a good bet with more and more participants and a growing global interest.”
Director Antonio Antunes added: “I think that World Press Cartoon is going to become a really strong event that is not over. The next mayor of Sintra will also want to continue with World Press Cartoon. At the least I would be moderately optimistic.”
Prizes are given in three categories – editorial, humorous drawing and caricature.
The humour this year came from Iranian artist Saeed Sedeghi, who explained the premise: “It is a satire about civil law in which it says – compared to some individuals who do not observe the law – some animals seem to be more law-abiding.”
The caricature prize was won by Pablo Lobato, thanks to his drawing of Evo Morales, inspired by Picasso’s Cubism. Lobato said: “My father was a great admirer of Picasso. I am called Picasso… sorry I am called Pablo because of Picasso.”
Nelson Mandela’s health, football star Messi, the re-election of Barack Obama were three other subjects chosen by artists over the past year.
But while the economic recession has made life difficult for most, it has given cartoonists the world over plenty of food for thought.
Euronews’ Dulce Dias at the event concluded: “The economic and financial crisis of the European Union was one of the principal subjects of 2012, and well represented in this World Press Cartoon, along with the rise of China, not forgetting the doping scandals in sport.”