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‘Humanity Cartoons’ exhibited in iconic London venues

Human Rights Solidarity (HRS) organised a remarkable and meaningful event on the occasion of ‘Refugee Week’ celebrated between 17-23 June. HRS volunteers exhibited the cartoons titled ‘Humanity Cartoons’ about the problems and rights violations of refugees at symbolic places in London, on 20 June.

The 15 works in the travelling exhibition were selected among 750 cartoons participating in the International Migration Cartoon Competition, which was organised for the third time this year. The cartoons dramatically criticise or make suggestions on issues such as ‘migration, asylum and refugees’, which have become one of the main agenda items of the world.

The first place where HRS volunteers exhibited the cartoons was the famous iconic square Piccadilly Circus. The works were then exhibited in Trafalgar Square, followed by near the Prime Minister’s Office (Number 10), Parliament Square, Westminster Bridge and in front of the London Eye.

HRS volunteers also carried banners emphasising the problems of refugees such as ‘Refugees welcome’, ‘They need a home, like us’, ‘Everyone deserves to live in safety’. A cartoon competition and leaflets with information about refugee rights were handed out to people who had been attentively viewing the exhibition.

The fact that the event took place at a time when the UK government is planning to send refugees to the African country of Rwanda was also seen as meaningful by visitors to the exhibition.

Apart from London, Humanity Cartoons was also exhibited in Newcastle, Leeds, Sheffield, Hull City and Lancaster. The exhibition held at St Maary’s Haritage Centre, one of the historical places of Newcastle, was open for 3 days. On 20 June, representatives from other organisations working on refugee issues attended the cocktail reception. Dr Neslihan Aksoy gave a speech on behalf of HRS, while Rebecca Bangura from Comfrey Project and Sara Muzaffer from Peace of Mind spoke.

The competition was held for the third time

The 3rd International Migration Cartoons Competition was organised by the UK registered charities HRS, Time to Help UK and Dialogue Society. This year, 388 artists from many countries of the world participated in the ‘Humanity Cartoons Competition’ with the theme ‘Our Home’ with a total of 750 works. After the preliminary selection by fine arts experts, 35 works were left to the selection of the main jury.

The jury consisting of cartoon artists Gustavo Fernando (Mexico), Ali Miraee (Iran) and Luc Descheemaeker (Belgium) selected the first 5 works. The artists who drew these cartoons were awarded a total of 3 thousand dollars. In addition to the first 5 works, 35 cartoons that passed the preliminary selection are planned to be exhibited in different countries and cities throughout the year after the Refugee Week.

The works reveal the difficult journey of asylum seekers who have to leave their countries due to war, persecution or political oppression, their search for a safe place and shelter, the troubles they experience and the rights violations they are exposed to in an artistic language.

The top 5 artists and their countries are as follows:

1. Mohammad Raei – Iran
2. Alireza Pakdel – Iran
3. Cenk Alparslan – Turkey
4. Rucke Souza – Brazil
5. Didie Sri Widiyanto – Indonesia

‘Kimse Yok Mu’ organised the first competition

The competition was first organised in 2016 by the Turkey-based humanitarian aid organisation ‘Kimse Yok Mu’. However, following the coup attempt on 15 July that year, ‘Kimse Yok Mu’, like hundreds of other organisations, was unlawfully shut down by a Decree Law (KHK).

That year, the winning works were not even allowed to be exhibited in Turkey. The selected works could only be exhibited in Athens, Greece, in April 2016. Subsequently, the organisation’s director and many of its staff became refugees. HRS and Time to Help UK decided to continue the competition 7 years later and organised the second edition in 2023 and the third edition this year.

Humanity Cartoons Addresses:
Website: www.humanitycartoons.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/humanitycartoon
Twitter: www.twitter.com/humanitycartoon

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You are invited to ‘Humanity Cartoons’ exhibition

The winning entries of the ‘2nd International Migration Cartoons Competition’ organised by HRS and Time to Help are on display. On Friday 8 September, 25 of the cartoons we call ‘Humanity Cartoons’ will be presented to the public at Pancras Square in London. You can see the cartoons drawn by important artists from different countries between 3.00-5.00 PM. The same exhibition will be on display in Trafalgar Square on Sunday 17 September.

These cartoons draw attention to the issue of ‘immigration’, which is among the most important agendas of the world, and aim to raise awareness about the violations of rights.

There are many migrants living in the UK and the number of asylum applications to the country is increasing every day. People who are looking for a safe place just to survive and who leave their countries at the risk of death face very serious difficulties.

As people living in peace and prosperity, we cannot ignore these migrants in difficult situations. Like every human being, they have the right to live and work. Being aware of this, we should extend a helping hand to migrants and provide the safe living conditions they seek.

With these feelings, we invite you to see the cartoons that illustrate the difficulties of migrants very well and to think about the solution of the problems.

Meet us at Pancras Square on Friday at 3.00pm.