Refugee crisis puts mark on Aydın Doğan contest

Refugee crisis puts mark on Aydın Doğan contest

BODRUM – Doğan News Agency
Refugee crisis puts mark on Aydın Doğan contest Italian cartoonist Marco De Angelis has won the 33rd Aydın Doğan Cartoon Contest for a cartoon depicting a refugee boat on a quilt that was causing Europeans to lose their sleep.

The refugee crisis is resulting in a loss of sleep not only for Europe “but the whole world,” Marlene Pohle, an Argentine who headed the selection committee, said about De Angelis’ creation. 

“[De Angelis] depicts very well how the European continent, which is losing its sleep because of the refugee drama, does not know what to do,” she said at the Bodrum Işıl Club, where the contest was held.

Brazil’s Claudio Antonio Gomes, 44, was second in the contest for his depiction of refugees, while Turkish cartoonist Doğan Arslan, 46, placed third for his cartoon depicting a necktie resembling a sword with drop of blood.

“[Gomes] draws attention to the refugee problem although he is thousands of kilometers away from it. Dozens of works in this contest illustrate very well that the refugee problem has become the problem of the world, not just of Europe,” said Pohle. “The third winner, [Arslan], tells us that wars never occur because of a woman and that no mother wants to send her son to war. It relates how it is easier to find peace if there are only women. The message given by three cartoons should be [considered thoughtfully].”

Aydın Doğan Foundation Executive Committee President Candan Fetvacı, who was also on the selection committee, said the winning cartoons once again revealed the most important problems in the world. 

“This contest is like a mirror, reflecting the world’s problems to the world through the eyes of the world’s best cartoonists,” she added. 

The winners of the first prize and the special prize will receive $8,000, while the winners of the second and third prizes will receive $5,000 and $3,500, respectively. The other winners of the contest will get $500.

This year, the Aydın Doğan Foundation, which aims to focus on the issue of women in the 21st century, also presented the 20th Year Special Award under the title “strong girls, a strong world” to 34-year-old Turkish cartoonist Emrah Arıkan. 

In addition to the top three prizes, 12 cartoonists also picked up a success award, namely Arif Sutristand Tanto (Indonesia), Evzan David (Czech Republic), Felibe Galindo Feggo (United States), Hicabi Demirci (Turkey), Jugoslav Vlahovic (Serbia), Kürşat Zaman (Turkey), Oktay Bingöl (Turkey), Raimundo Rucko Santos Souza (Brazil), Rodrigo Machado Da Rosa (Brazil), Vitaly Bondar (Belarus), Zygmunt Zaradklewicz (Poland) and Zamani Nahid (Iran). 

This year the pre-selection committee evaluated 2,521 cartoons by 752 artists from 68 countries. 

The international selective committee of the contest, most of whom were women, evaluated 234 works by 183 artists from 44 countries on themes that focused on violence against woman, children and education problems, war and migration. 

In addition to Fetvacı and Pohle, Ercan Akyol, Gülse Birsel, Assunta Toti Buratti (Italy), Latif Demirci, Selçuk Demirel, Yalda Hasheminezhad (Iran), Anita Kuntz (Canada), Piyale Madra, Tan Oral and Elena Ospina were also on the committee.

‘Democracy is what we need most’

Before the announcement of the winner, Birsel said the cartoons focused on common problems and that they had difficulty in choosing a winner from among them. 

“There are criticisms against war, environmental corruption, the refugee problem, women’s problems, inequality, capitalism and the like. There are very nice cartoons and we had trouble in choosing them. If we look at the history of humor, it is produced more particularly in such terms because people need to laugh.

Since humorists engage in humor in order to relieve tragedy and problems, I think we will not forget to laugh either way,” she said.

Kuntz, who is a four-time member of the jury for the contest, said democracy was very important for everyone. 

“When we don’t value it enough, we see that we lose it. This is expressed in drawings. Women and girls should live in an equal environment. We can be successful when we are equal. But unfortunately, discrimination against women is everywhere in the world. Particularly in recent years, when they publish something on the internet, they can be attacked by men’s groups. They can be harassed through the internet. This is a problem, too. This contest deals with all these problems. Therefore, the Aydın Doğan Cartoon Contest has a significant place in this world,” Kuntz said. 

The three top winners, plus the 12 success award-winning cartoons, will be on display between June 16 and 21 at the Milta Bodrum Marina Ottoman Shipyard Art Gallery. 

All winning artists will receive trophies at a ceremony to be held in Istanbul.