Political Cartooning – A Project for Near East and North Africa

This project sought to study the role of political editorial cartoonists in a free, independent media in a democracy.

An IVLP participant puts the finishing touches on his Chalk Slam cartoon as part of the AAEC convention in Columbus, Ohio.

Participants examined the practice, techniques, and ethical responsibilities of U.S. political cartoonists, the philosophical beliefs underlying their work, and the impact their cartoons have on history, political debate, public opinion, and the distillation of the public mood. Seven participants from six different countries in the Middle East (Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Palestinian Territories, and Saudi Arabia) met with political cartoonists, schools of cartooning and art, journalists, publishers, and advocates for free speech.

Participants began in Washington, DC, meeting with several organizations working to promote cartooning such as Cartoonists Rights Network International and the Herb Block.  The group was inspired by meetings with prominent American political cartoonists including Mr. Tom Toles and Ms. Ann Telnaes of The Washington Post; Mr. Matt Wuerker of Politico; and with Mr. Kevin “KAL” Kallaugher, Editorial Cartoonist for The Economist magazine and The Baltimore Sun newspaper.  Following their time in Washington, the group traveled to New York City; Burlington, Vermont; Seattle, Washington; and Columbus, Ohio.

Concluding in Columbus, participants attended the annual convention of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC), met with a diverse array of cartoonists and artists from across the country, presented on their work, and contributed to an AAEC organized chalk-slam on the steps of the Columbus Public Library.



Sponsors and Partnerships

U.S. Department of State
International Visitor Leadership Program, U.S. Department of State
World Trade Center Institute
Vermont Council on World Affairs
World Affairs Council of Seattle

Project summary

Political Cartooning – A Project for Near East and North Africa
Number of Visitors: 7
Regions: Near East and North Africa
Countries: Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Palestinian Territories, Saudi Arabia
Impact Areas: Media and Journalism
Program Areas: Global Leadership