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Cartoonists condemn violation of freedom of expression in Catalonia

Work by a score artists from all over the world brought together in non-profit publication ‘Illegal Times’ arguing that “rights must be defended collectively”


18 December 2017 06:19 PM


ACN | Barcelona

More than 20 cartoon artists from all over the world have condemned what they call the violation of the freedom of expression in Catalonia. The cartoonists, whose illustrations have been collected in the publication ‘Illegal Times’ are protesting human rights’ violations in general, but in particular the violation of the freedom of expression in Catalonia.

‘Illegal Times’ has also published articles by more than 20 representatives of the cultural and media sphere, such as Jaume Cabré, Pepa Plana, Natza Farré, Arcadi Oliveres and Ramón Cotarelo.

‘Illegal Times’ arises out of “outrage”

One of the promoters, cartoonist Jaume Capdevila (Kap), said the project arose from “outrage” and a wish to “condemn an exceptional and complicated situation.” Capdevila noted that ‘Illegal Times’ includes "diverse voices” aimed at making the public feel the need to “wake up and raise awareness” because “rights must be defended collectively.”

According to the 'Illegal Times' editorial, the publication aims to “condemn attacks on collective and individual rights, including the freedom of expression. We do so with the pen as the only weapon.” Its promoters say that the ‘Illegal Times’ is a “collective a diverse reporting, that uses satire, reviews all rights that are being taken away and focuses on the consequences of censorship and on the deterioration of the right of freedom of expression.”

  • "We shouldn’t be afraid of doing normal things, such as speaking up, wearing a yellow bow or voting for a party"

    Jaume Capdevila (Kap) · Cartoonist 

“We shouldn’t be afraid of doing normal things”

Capdevila claims there is a willingness to “frighten” people and that the ‘Illegal Times’ aims to use jokes as “a tool to prevent it from happening.” “If someone is afraid of saying anything, what kind of country is this?” he asked.

"We shouldn’t be afraid of doing normal things, such as speaking up, wearing a yellow bow or voting for a party," pointed out Capdevila. He also stressed that they do not want people to think like them, but for people to reflect on what they say.

Belgian artist Cécile Bertrand, whose work appears on the back cover, stressed that in her country there is no censorship or attacks against freedom of expression. Nevertheless, she noted that there is economic censorship and that she lost her job due to budget cuts. Bertrand also said that she had come to Barcelona to defend freedom of expression.

Cartoonists in the project include Martin Rowson, who contributes regularly to the British newspaper, ‘The Guardian’, Coco (Corinne Rey), from Charlie Hebdo, Khalid Gueddar, a Moroccan cartoonist sentenced to three years in prison for having drawn the royal family of Morocco, Terry Anderson, one of the heads of Cartoonist's Rights International Network, and Liza Donnelly, who works for 'The New Yorker'. Some Catalan and Spanish cartoonists also took part, such as Fer, Azagra, Ferreres, Raquel GU, Ferran Martin, Manel Fontdevila and Kap.

'Illegal Times' also published articles by more than 20 activists and representatives of civil society, such as the writers Jaume Cabré and Marta Rojals, the Basque lawyer Jone Goirizelaia, the Turkish journalist Hamza Yalçin, the scriptwriter Júlia Cot, the Catalan actor Sergi López and the Catalan journalists David Fernàndez and Natza Farré.

A non-profit project

'Illegal Times' is a non-profit project. To coincide with the election campaign, 10,000 copies of the publication have been distributed throughout Catalonia.


  • capdevila

  • Cartoonist Jaume Capdevila (Kap) (by Pere Francesch)