BRUSSELS - Journalist and writer Catherine Vuylsteke chronicled the life stories of Mar Maremoto, Ann Telnaes, Rachita Taneja, Doaa El-Adl, Victoria Lomasko and Amany Al-Ali, six women cartoonists from Mexico, the U.S., India, Egypt, Russia and Syria to whom the documentary series Draw for Change, recently awarded at Cannes, is dedicated. They come from very diverse worlds and belong to different generations: the oldest was born when John F. Kennedy won the election, the youngest saw the light of day nearly 35 years later.

With a tenacity that at times borders on foolishness, these women continue to fight.They take on patriarchal dogmas, authoritarian leaders, reactionary frames of mind, religious edicts and machistic traditions. With humor, boldness and originality, they face the world. Not infrequently their graphic statements are brighter than the long, rambling expositions of others.

The careers of these women are as far apart as the climatic belts from which they come, the languages they learned in the early years of life and the gods that surround them. While for some, homophobia, fatshaming or misogyny loom large, for others censorship and persecution take center stage.

As much as they differ, what is striking are the similarities. Rachita Taneja often aims her arrows at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amany al-Ali hers at President Assad. Ann Telnaes takes American rulers to task: she made a book about both Vice President Dick Cheney and Donald Trump.

None of these women chose an easy path - and so they stumbled, they hurt themselves and even considered quitting. Loneliness, sadness, controversy and self-doubt became their portion, but they scrambled up. To go against the grain again, to reject all muzzles and keep trying. To find a place, not only for themselves, but for all those people, whom they know to be worse armed, less able to stand up for themselves.

Catherine Vuylsteke spent many an hour with each of them, listening to the stories. The cartoonists shared painful memories, touching anecdotes, moments of happiness and triumph.They met in Cairo, Leipzig and Brussels. Live and virtually. Some served her their favorite food, others let her pet their cat. They drank locks of tea. And one of them was a real Sheharazade, day after day she came up with stories that ended in the promise that tomorrow would be even more exciting.

Catherine Vuylsteke

Catherine Vuylsteke is a sinologist, journalist and writer.
€11.200 allocated on 08/12/2022.


Draw For Change! 

  • Uitgeverij Lannoo
  • Afwerking: Hardback
  • Aantal pagina's: 176
  • Afmetingen: 210x140
  • Verschijningsdatum: 31/10/2023
  • EAN: 9789401496025
  • Nur-code: Tentoonstellingscatalogus
  • Druk: 1