Freedom of speech is the primary tool of all cartoonists. It isn’t pen or ink or graphic tablet. It isn’t the page, the file or the canvas they use. It is the freedom to speak their own opinion based on truth. In Paris this week, this tool was momentarily blunted by extremists who do not hold that freedom of speech is a tool. They consider it a threat. Where freedom of speech has the power to change minds, extremism would rather destroy any objection to their own beliefs. But this of course, is an illusion to the short-sighted. It doesn’t blunt the tool at all. It sharpens it. It makes it stronger.
The Australian Cartoonists’ Association condemns all actions worldwide in which freedom of speech is repressed, is damaged and in cases like the Charlie Hebdo tragedy, is savagely attacked. Our commiserations and thoughts extend to our brothers and sisters across the sea, their families and their loved ones during this awful time.
One thing the short-sighted extremists haven’t taken into consideration – cartoonists are a subversive and rebellious group. We traverse the grotty wainscotings of society demanding truth be heard. An incident like Paris doesn’t stop us. It will never stop us. Because we are the truth in a complicated society. We shine the light on a darkening world. We were the first media and we will be the last media.
We are Charlie Hebdo.
Australian Cartoonists’ Association