graphic artists in the arab countries

Open application 2017: Arab Cartoon Festival

Deadline proposals: 15 july 2017
Deadline completed works: 31 july 2017

Arab Cartoon Festival is organized by Omnes vzw in collaboration with de Warande

De Warande
Warandestraat 42
2300 Turnhout
Ali Nazir Ali
00(32)465/88 72 55
To cartoonists/artists/practitioners who work with ‘cartoons’:
From October 6 till 21 the second edition of Arab Cartoon Festival will again present a multidisciplinary program that outsteps the borders of the visual arts, and focuses on ‘cartoons’, not only in form, but also in spirit or tactics.
The second edition revolves around the theme of ‘Cracks in the society’. It basically focuses both on cracks between Arab and western societies (including the EU) and cracks within those diverse societies. Several cultural and political situations and circumstances created small and larger ‘cracks’ between and within societies. Mainstream media are stimulating populist speech that incites hate, and put the spotlights on actions that ‘crack’ societies into small(er) segments (divisions) which are – so it seems – on the verge of clashing. All this, makes us forget how we could be more connected and less scared of each other. The festival looks into different ways of (re)connecting through the arts. Cartoons deliver ways to critically rethink what alternative circumstances are needed to bridge the differences between ‘us’ and ‘them’.

In the last ten years or so, major events have contributed to interconnected upheavals and feelings of anxiety around the globe. The wars in Iraq & Afghanistan. The financial crises. The Arab spring and the wars in Syria Yemen & Libya. The crisis following the floods of refugees coming from those areas to the EU. All these events lead to major changes (of perceptions) in the West: the unleashing of extremist movements, BREXIT, the rising of the right wing in the US and EU, the ‘power politics’ of RUSSIA etc.

What is art’s role when it comes to lessen this anxiety? What anxiety and prejudices are dealing with? In what ways does a dominant ‘image-building’ (including meanstream media) nourish a one-dimensional take on our post-humanist era? Can a ‘cartoon show’ be a testimony to the underexposed ways we all love life, respect our differences, believe in fundamental freedom and that we can create new ways of living, far from hate, violence and radicalized thinking?

Arab Cartoon focuses on local cultures, religions, and socio-politics. A possible - though not exhaustive – list of topics for the open application:

Interpretations of religion vs culture

The rise up of the right wing in USA and EU

EU and the United state elections

The case of Hijab (Burkaa-nekap)


Relationships between local and foreign cultures

Disconnected communities and cultures

Relationship between religion and politics

Socio-political conflicts/reform

Capitalism and its impact on society

Social impacts of man made changes to the landscape

Practical information and deadlines:

Deadline for proposal submission: July 15, 2017

Proposals must include: medium, description, concept, size, budget, and preferred mode of display (pedestal, TV screen, etc..)

Selected artists will be granted a small budget to complete the artworks.

Alternatively submit completed work by: July 31, 2017

Completed work submission must include: image, dimensions, concept, costs, and preferred mode of display (pedestal, TV screen, etc...)

Selected artworks only submitted for the second deadline may not be completely reimbursed for their costs.

The jury : Annelies Nagels , Ali Nazir Ali , Tom Viaene.

If you have any questions, we’ll be happy to answer them. Please send an email to