The winners of the 32nd Aydın Doğan International Cartoon Contest, organized by the Aydın Doğan Foundation and considered the Oscars of the cartoon world, were announced yesterday. Albanian cartoonist Agim Sulaj was named the winner of this year's contest.
The works of Sulaj, 50, who lives in Italy, have been published in Italy, Britain, Greece and Turkey. He mostly focuses on poverty, environmental problems and the life of refugees in his cartoons.
His winning cartoon in the contest depicts terror and expresses that terror can hit any country and any person regardless of geography.
The second and third prizes of the 32nd Aydın Doğan International Cartoon Contest went to Iranian artists Mohsen Nouri Najafi and Jalal Pirmarzabad, respectively.
Also, Alberto Morales Ajubel (Spain), Angel Boligan (Cuba), İshimaru Hide (Japan), Frank Hoffmann (Germany), Moacir Knorr Gutterres (Brazil), Musa Gümüş (Turkey), Cemalettin Güzeloğlu (Turkey), Jose Antonio Garci Nieto (Mexico), Didier Pizzi (France), Saman Torabi (Iran), Jugoslav Vlahovic (Serbia) and Mikhail Zlatkovsky (Russia) were announced as the winners of the Merit Awards.
Among 237 works
This year 787 cartoonists from 66 countries joined the contest with 2289 cartoons. The winners of the contest were selected among 237 works by 205 artists from 46 countries, selected by a pre-selective committee.
The selective committee of the contest, headed by Michael Kountouris (Greece), gathered on June 15 at Bodrum Işıl Club in the western province of Bodrum.
Other jury members included the authorities of the cartoon world; Ercan Akyol, Latif Demirci, Selçuk Demirel, Piyale Madra (Turkey), Bayram Hajizadeh (Azerbaijan), Godfrey Mwampembwa (Tanzania), Yuko Shimizu (Japan) and Jen Sorensen (U.S.).
Aydın Doğan Foundation Executive Board President Candan Fetvacı said, "The quality of the cartoons in the contest and the difficulty in selecting them revealed once again the respected position of the contest in the world. International artists depicted the world's most important problems - migration, war and terror - in their drawings and expressed their hope for peace."
The head of the jury, Kountoruis, said countries' migration problems were reflected in cartoons, adding, "As the people of Mediterranean countries, we have been experiencing a big tragedy in recent years. The Mediterranean used to be the sea of culture, arts and peace in the past. Unfortunately, it has become the graveyard of immigrants. This is a big pain and problem for all of us."
Jury member Shimuzu, who was shown as one of the 100 most respected names by Newsweek Japan in 1999, said, "In the evaluation we don't see the artists and countries of the works but we see that the same problems are depicted in the drawing from different viewpoints. The creativity and difference of an artist is seen here. This variety is very important to me."
Sulaj will receive $8,000, while the winners of the second and third prizes, Najafi and Pirmarzabad, will receive $5,000 and $3,000, respectively. The other winners of the contest will get $500.
(Photo) - Muğla