World Press Freedom Day in Moscow

27 April 2012

The impact of editorial cartooning and the unquestionable, yet subtle, power of the medium was again the subject of a party at UNIC Moscow to mark World Press Freedom Day.

One of the major annual events was organized on 27 April, when UNIC unveiled an exhibition featuring works by leading Russian cartoonists of the “Children of the Absurd” creative group as well as UNIC’s partners Sergei Tiunin and Sergei Elkin. Most of the artists participating were award-winners, and their caricatures appear regularly in Russian and foreign newspapers and magazines.
 
In his opening remarks, the UNIC Director pointed out that political cartooning was a unique and poignant genre which reflects problems and paradoxes of the modern world. He added that artists who satirize the political landscape played a role in forming public opinion, and should be aware of their responsibilities in the field.
 
Speaking after the Director, Ryszard Komenda, Senior Human Rights Advisor to the UN Country Team in Russia, stressed that the freedom of press was one of the most important achievements for society, a kind of barometer letting us know good from evil. The speaker also commented on the innovations brought about by the Internet and social media that make it impossible to prohibit freedom of expression.

Cartoonist Igor Smirnov, member of the Russian Academy of Art, praised the valuable opportunity to celebrate the art of political cartooning. He introduced “Children of the Absurd” to the audience, after which a documentary about one of the group’s new project was screened.

The soirée continued with the announcement of International Jazz Day, as proclaimed by UNESCO. The Director quoted UNESCO’s decision, according to which, jazz had been described as a force for positive social transformation, speaking a language of freedom that is meaningful to all cultures.

In this context, guests enjoyed a musical performance of a jazz group led by Vladimir Frolov.