In the past 32 years the City of Kragujevac has become the world capital of not only antiwar, but the cartoon in general.
The International Antiwar Cartoon Salon has been gathering hundreds of authors from all over the world for more than three decades. Weather they are naive child drawings look alike, works of insecure hands of adults with disposition to sketch, or works of the most intelligent world masters of cartoon, the unique inspiration comes from a universal idea to condemn war, violence and destruction, with a single aim to cry out for a common sense to bring on the peace in the world.
At this 17th Salon 235 authors from each continent were on roll call joining their voices in the mission of peace.
The Jury presided by Antonio Antunes, the cartoonist well known all over the world and the director of the prestigious Lisbon festival World Press Cartoon Sintra, had a pleasure and a difficult job to choose among numerous extraordinary works the ones to be presented in the catalogue and at the exhibition, and of course even more difficult thing was to single out the best of them. The guideline was to offer the audience authentic ideas free from stereotype metaphors, which has already for a few decades been the Salon’s standard set by Jugoslav Vlahovic and his cartoon awarded at this contest first edition. It has proved that the wretched war opens endless creative options to be exposed to mockery, ridicule, condemnation.
The cartoonist who won the Grand Prix of the International Association of the Peace Messenger, this time sends a serious warning to the entire world with powerful depiction of dreadful, dark and disastrous nature of the warfare using simple, clear and readable painting means. We see a soldier who is entering a war area, while as a matter of fact he is entering the darkness of hell. The author Massoud Shojai Tabatabai comes from a turmoil region of Iran which has been exposed to sufferings and threats of war for decades.
On the other side, the Turkish cartoonist Omer Cam, who was awarded the Golden Plaque and the first prize given by the organizers, turns tank tracks wheals into wine barrels and places a glass of wine in to a soldiers hands, thus, celebrating life and truth, for the wine is a measure of pleasure, but also, as they say, in wine there is the truth. The winner of the Silver Plague is the Polish cartoonist Pawel Kuczynski whose utopian vision features soldiers firing from bazooka brad instead of grenades.
As long as there are dreams like these, there is hope. The cartoon cannot change the world, but it can encourage us to take action, it can give warning, as well as to make us laugh even over dark images the warfare inevitably brings, and also to remind those who dedicated their lives to collecting medals in war campaigns that behind every war medal there are hundreds and hundreds of black ribbons remembering innocent victims. That is the mission of this Salon, and that is what keeps it alive.
As for Kragujevac, this city is proud of being able to gather this big and this honest crowd devoted to peace above the shadows of its victims, and it is proud of becoming the world capital of antiwar cartoon owing to this Salon. Thus, it sheds at present a light on those victims keeping them alive for ever.
Director of the Salon
ARES AWAITS ON YOU
We rejoice in welcoming you on the 30th foundation anniversary of the International Antiwar Cartoon Salon «Kragujevac» with yet another 16th successful exhibition, again in the spirit of strong antiwar message sent by hundreds of cartoonists from all over the world, and joined by our friends who reward some of the chosen artists thus paying respect to their peace activism...
We rejoice in knowing that the 15th Salon exhibition was presented to several thousands of visitors in eleven cities across Europe, North and South America, including Kragujevac, New York, Poltava, Ingolstadt, Bielsko-Biala, Bydgoszcz, Belgrade, Pitesti, Temisoara, Limasol and Mexico City. In all these places people admired cartoonists’ lucid ideas warning on destructiveness of the war and condemning it, making its parties a laughingstock and an object of ridicule. And, they agreed with cartoonists.
But, we do not rejoice that Ares, that Hellenic simbol of war and suffering, does not get tired. Always hitting harder the innocent ones, war and suffering grow instead of dieing out.
So, Ares awaits you!
You to join, or resist him. To follow his seductive words, or to raise the voice of reason and civic disagreement. Artists participating at the 16th International Antiwar Cartoon Salon, as they did in every contest in past thirty years, encourage you to choose the second.
That is our Salon’s mission. Therefore, unfortunately, our Salon is a necessity. Still is...
Director of the Salon
OUR 30 – YEARS OLD PATH
First important gatherings of the Kragujevac’s cartoonists were induced by the student’s newspaper “FAKK” in the late sixties and at the beginning of the seventies. Dozen young associates of the later newspapers came to the idea to comment and react on current political situation in a free, comic way by drawing cartoons. Such thing was quite often more efficient than any other report or comment. In due course cartoon had its reputation and become inevitable in papers of Kragujevac. Before that happened it used to be just a joke, more illustration, to fill the void.
Studies do not last for ever and student’s days pass by quickly. Those young associates that brought cartoon to life ended their mission. Some graduated, some did not. Some of them even decided on cartoon as vocation. They turned out to become the most eminent names in Yugoslav cartoon as – Ljubomir Milojević – Ljubac, Mileta Miloradović, Aleksandar Dimitrijević, Branislav Obradović… Some of them decided to be journalists like Milivoje Radenković – Raki and Zoran Glišović – Žig ( both of them are employees of Radio Belgrade today ). Some became engineers, economists, lawyers and cartoon remained as part of their youth.
“FAKK” and the generation of young cartoonists together with editor could be also remembered as founders of our Salon of Anti – war Cartoon. When Dimitrijević, Glišović and myself moved to Kragujevac’ s week newspapers “Svetlost” we decided to found, in 1981, an International Salon of Anti – war Cartoon, that has remained ever since.
Again, the Salon was supported by the most eminent people. A new generation was born and Kragujevac become a center of Serbian cartoon. The home of more than fifteen authors of cartoon and satire.
That new generation of cartoonists (Goran Milenković, Srđan Stamenković, Ivan Radulović, Milan Jovanović, Zoran Zlatičanin…) showed great interest to make Salon of Anti – war Cartoon better and much more modern as much as they could. This site is only one of things which proves that.
Miodrag Stojilović, director of the Salon