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World Press Cartoon awards top prize to Iranian artist


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World Press Cartoon awards top prize to Iranian artist

World Press Cartoon, a leading international contest celebrating the work of cartoonists from around the world, has come to a close in Caldas da Rainha, north of Portugal’s capital Lisbon.

This year’s Grand Prix went to Iran’s Alireza Pakdel, for his cartoon ‘Immigrants’, which also won the first prize in the festival’s editorial section.

For the young award-winning artist, recognition from the World Press Cartoon is like a dream come true.

“I’ve always dreamed of winning such a prize. Right from the beginning, I always said, ‘If only I could win the World Press Cartoon award… and now I’ve picked up two prizes,” he said.

The global migration crisis was one of the major themes at this year’s event, which features some 260 cartoons from 50 countries.

Greek cartoonist Michael Kountouris says events like this play a crucial role in keeping alive freedom of expression.

“The World Press Cartoon is what cartoonists around the world need,” said the artist. “Recent years have been very difficult for cartoonists, starting with the Charlie Hebdo attack through to jailed Turkish cartoonist Musa Kart. And, of course, cartoonists target a lot of different events. So this major festival here, the World Press Cartoon, is what press cartoonists need in these difficult years.”

Kountouris picked up the runner-up editorial prize for his cartoon about the Nice attack in France last year.

US president Donald Trump was by far the favourite target of cartoonists around the world.

It was her Trump cartoon that landed Italian artist Mariagrazia Quaranta, a.k.a. Gio, third place in the caricature category. She says she’s very much a woman in a man’s world.

“Let’s say this is still a very male-dominated world,” she told Euronews. “But there are many talented women cartoonists. Together, we want to show the world through our point of view, we all dream of peace in the world.”

The event’s director says he’s delighted it’s back after a gap year – The World Press Cartoon was cancelled in 2016 due to financial hurdles.

“It’s the continuity of a project in which I strongly believe, a project that was running at cruise speed and is famous around the world – cartoonists everywhere recognize its excellency. So it’s normal that it goes on – it would be abnormal if it didn’t,” said festival director and cartoonist Antonio Antunes.

“If we follow on on this idea, this event could lead to a permanent exhibition space for caricatures, here in Caldas da Rainha, the home of caricature in Portugal,” added the town’s mayor Fernando Manuel Tinta Ferreira.

The exhibition runs until August 10th at the Congress and Cultural Centre in Caldas da Rainha, north of Lisbon, famous for its 19th century caricatures by Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro, widely considered Portugal’s first comics creator.

Check out our photo gallery:

The winners:

World Press Cartoon 2017

Editorial category:

WPC 2017: EDITORIAL

Caricature category:

WPC 2017: CARICATURA

Gag category:

WPC 2017: GAG

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