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Issa Touma
Syrian Photographer Read More ...
Zunar
Malaysian Political Cartoonist Read More ...
 
 
International Human Rights Series
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Issa Touma
Syrian Photographer

Issa Touma lives and works in Aleppo. Touma is a prominent figure in the Syrian art scene. He began his career as a photographer in the early 90s. Finding himself isolated from the international art world and photography scene, in 1992 he established Black and White, a gallery in Aleppo dedicated to photography. After its closure, in 1996 he founded Le Pont Organization and Gallery, an independent art organization to promote freedom of expression and stimulate the local art scene through international events. In Spring 2012, Touma initiated the Art Camping Workshops, in the attempt to counterbalance the violence of the insurgency with artistic interventions around Aleppo. Touma commitment to bringing world photography shows to Syria in festivals he hosted and organized since 1997. He also organized the 8th Women´s Art Festival, which had more then 70,000 visitors. In 2006 Touma served as artistic consultant for the exhibition Images of Syria, at Moestings Hus, Copenhagen, which included photographs from his series Aleppo from Above together with other Syrian & Danish Photographers. He also served as juror in the Backlight Photo Festival in Finland in 2014. More recently, Issa Touma contributed to the short film 9 Days - From my Window in Aleppo, an initiative of Dutch filmmakers Floor van der Meulen and Thomas Vroege, who compiled the footage captured by Issa Touma.


 
Zunar
Malaysian Political Cartoonist

Zunar (Zulkiflee Sm Anwar Ulhaque) is a political cartoonist from Malaysia. With slogan, "How Can I be Neutral, Even My Pen Has a Stand", he exposes corruption and abuse of power committed by the government of Malaysia through his art. Zunar is now facing nine charges under the archaic Sedition Act and facing possible 43 years imprisonment and the court proceeding will start on 9 Sept 2015. He was detained and locked behind bars twice under the Sedition Act - first time was on September 2010 for two days and recently on 10th of February 2015 for three days. Five of his cartoon books have been banned by the Malaysian government on the ground that the contents are "detrimental to public order." His office in Kuala Lumpur has been raided a few times and thousands of his cartoon books were confiscated. The printers, vendors, and bookstores, have been harassed. Their premises have been raided and they have been warned not to print or carry any of his books or their bussiness licence will be revoked. Last October, three of his assistants were arrested and taken to the police station for selling his latest cartoon books. The webmaster, who manages his website and online bookstore, was called in by the police for questioning. He was awarded the “Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award 2011” by Cartoonists Right Network International and the Human Rights Watch Hellman/Hammett Award for 2011 & 2015.


 
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