A year has passed since the murderous attacks in Brussels’ airport and metro. For a brief moment last March, the city seemed empty. We weren’t simply shocked by the senseless violence, but also anxious: could we still live safely here? Against this backdrop, the major international cartoon exhibition scheduled for April 2016 was cancelled.
The scars remain, but life goes on. We must continue to work towards mutual understanding, emphasizing the shared needs, hopes and values that lie hidden beneath our outward (personal and political) differences.
The festival You, the West and the Middle East offers a selection of cartoons intended to encourage reflection and dialogue on the work of living together. Out of more than 1000 submissions from around the world, we have selected 120 outstanding works. How have cartoonists engaged with developments in the Middle East? What do they reveal (or question) about the culture of the region? What is their take on the refugee issue? And what does their work teach us about the craft of living together?
The exhibition will be accompanied by diverse fora for listening, discussing, engaging and simply coming together. The festival seeks to encourage mutual understanding and respect and rejects all efforts to provoke senseless confrontation between people and cultures.
YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO “DE MARKTEN” FOR THE OPENING OF THE FESTIVAL
Oude Graanmarkt 5, 1000 Brussels
Thursday, April 27th at 19.30h
Your host for the evening will be Jan Hautekiet. Ward Treunen, Rachida Aziz and Keltoum Belorf will tell you more about the festival. Jan Vromman will present “Say No.” Charles Ducal will also be there, together with Bilal Bilal, wrote a letter to us. Kamel Badarneh will provide a soundtrack for the evening. The reception starts at 20:00. Omnya will be in charge of the hors d’oeuvres, and you will be free to explore the exhibition.
With many thanks for your consideration, and in hopeful anticipation your attendance, please accept our warmest greetings,
on behalf of all the partners,
Nora De Kempeneer & Ward Treunen
From the exhibition organisers:
YOU, THE WEST AND THE MIDDLE EAST is not only an international cartoon exhibition, but also a whole series of activities during the month of May on how we experience and look at the Middle East.
Every day we are seeing bombings on ou[r] TV screen, we read about radicalization, IS [ISIS], terrorist attacks, we’re watching soldiers patrolling our streets, we question the situation in the Middle East, we ask ourselves how to treat refugees humanely and we try to live a normal life under terror threats …
The current situation leaves no one untouched and needs more insight and understanding of what is happening today in the world.
How can we try to better understand this region, which we only know as a permanent war zone, where everyone seems to be fighting everyone. Should we not start discussing and imagining a possible and liveable future for the Middle East?
This project aims to promote mutual understanding, rather than getting involved in a pointless confrontation between ‘different’ cultures.
Cartoonists from around the world put together a compelling and confrontational exhibition, that will be presented in May 2017: from May 2 to May 31 in De Markten, Vieux Marché aux Grains 5 in 1000 Brussels – free access from 12:00 to 18:00 on Tue-Wed-Thu-Fri-Sat-Sun (Thursdays until 20:00).
Additionally, you can meet the cartoonists, you can watch enlightening documentaries and attend lectures and workshops.
More information can be found on this website. Do you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
This video says about itself:
Cartoonists – foot soldiers of democracy – trailer
1 August 2014
12 loveable lunatics, capturing the comic and tragic in all four corners of the earth: cartoonists who risk their lives to defend democracy, with a smile on their faces and a pencil as their only weapon. They are French, Tunisian, Russian, American, Burkinabese, Chinese, Mexican, Algerian, Ivorian, Venezuelan, Israeli and Palestinian.
This video says about itself:
WE ARE MANY – OFFICIAL TRAILER
24 April 2015
Eight years in the making, filmed in seven countries, and including interviews with John Le Carre, Damon Albarn, Brian Eno, Danny Glover, Mark Rylance, Richard Branson, Hans Blix and Ken Loach amongst others, it charts the birth and rise of the people power movements that are now sweeping the world, all through the prism of one extraordinary day.
On February 15th 2003, over 15 million people marched through the streets of 800 cities on every continent to voice their opposition to the proposed war in Iraq. This unprecedented global march was organised, against all odds, by a patchwork of peace campaigners in many countries, who reveal how they pulled of the historic demonstration, and whose legacy is only now unfolding.
For more information about the film please visit here.
This film will be shown at the Brussels festival on 10 May.