Faraway: Get Out of Your World
If someone told you to stop wearing your favorite color because they didn’t like it, would you comply? And if you did not, and they then threatened to inflict harm upon you if you did not do as they say, would you then think, “Well, rather than cause any trouble, I guess for the sake of peace, I’ll just wear something else.”
If you allow someone to bully you into submission, you have done nothing for the sake of peace. There was no peace in the first place, hence none to preserve.
Today, January 7, 2015, in Paris, France, a group of journalists, cartoonists, editors, and writers, for the satiric magazine, Charlie Hebdo, were gunned down in their office conference room. Why? Because they refused to be bullied by an intolerant group of religious fanatics. The artists at Charlie Hebdo believed in humor as a way to promote peace. They used satire to poke fun at everyone, no matter the religion, political persuasion, or ethnicity. When humor is no longer allowed in this world, laughter will cease, and who could survive?
One of the cartoonists murdered in Paris today was Bernard Verlhac, known as Tignous, a member of Cartoonists for Peace. I went to their website and found this:
Caricature and freedom of speech are intolerable to fanatics. Charlie Hebdo and its team were cruelly hit today. Cartooning for Peace express their pain and sympathy to the victims’ families and close ones, and their anger against this crime.
Kofi Annan, Nobel Peace Prize and former Secretary General of the UN, and Plantu, French editorial cartoonist at “Le Monde” newspaper, gathered together twelve of the greatest international cartoonists at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on October 16, 2006, at a symposium entitled “Unlearning Intolerance”. The Cartooning for Peace initiative started with this meeting. It aims to promote a better understanding and mutual respect between people of different cultures and beliefs using editorial cartoons as a universal language. Cartooning for Peace facilitates meetings of professional cartoonists of all nationalities with a wide audience, to promote exchanges on freedom of expression and recognition of the journalistic work of cartoonists. Cartooning for Peace also provides protection and legal assistance to cartoonists working in difficult environments, as well as advice and support in the exercise of their profession.
You can give support to Cartoonists for Peace and help humor remain in our lives.