Cartooning in Conflict

An international roster of acclaimed editorial cartoonists explore Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation and peace in an exhibit scheduled to debut in Chicago Nov. 4-6 as a special exhibit at the 18th Annual Sculpture Objects and Functional Art Fair, SOFA CHICAGO 2011 in Navy Pier’s Festival Hall, 600 E. Grand Avenue.

Cartooning in Conflict: Editorial Cartoonists Explore Palestinian-Israeli Conflict offers the singular perspective of 40 renowned artists, including Pulitzer Prize winners Pat Oliphant and Jim Morin, syndicated political cartoonist Jeff Danziger, and The New Yorker’s Liza Donnelly, as well as such celebrated international artists as No Rio of Japan, Plantu of France, El-Roto of Spain, and Cathy Wilcox of Australia. The exhibit has previously been displayed throughout the world, including London, Madrid, Italy, Holland, Germany, Austria and Spain.

The exhibit is co-presented in Chicago by Parents Circle-Families Forum (PCFF), a grassroots organization of Israeli and Palestinian families who have lost loved ones in the region’s conflict, and SOFA CHICAGO. Dedicated to promoting peace and reconciliation rather than revenge, PCFF spreads its message through such initiatives as youth seminars, lectures and public dialogues. In 2009, it presented more than 1,000 programs in Arab and Israeli schools throughout Israel.

Two members of the Parents Circle, Robi Damelin and Seham Abu-Awwad, will be at the exhibition for special guided tours and to welcome visitors to SOFA. Damelin, an Israeli, lost her son to a Palestinian sniper, while Abu-Awwad’s brother was killed by an Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldier and her son was imprisoned.

“These artists have a unique talent for conveying complicated and challenging ideas with just a few pen strokes,” said Damelin. “Their art illustrates the destructive absurdity of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and, more importantly, serves as a catalyst for hope by imagining a path to reconciliation and peace.”

Select special edition signed prints will be available for purchase at SOFA CHICAGO from Nov. 4-6. Exhibition catalogues and a calendar featuring select works from the exhibition will also be available for purchase.

During SOFA CHICAGO, on Friday, Nov. 4 from 3:30-5 p.m.at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall, PCFF will present a lecture entitled Cartooning In Conflict: An Illustration of the Futility of War. Robi Damelin and Seham Abu-Awwad will discuss their personal narratives, the Parents Circle work they are doing and the role of art in reconciliation.

Parents Circle-Families Forum (PCFF) is a grassroots organization of more than 600 bereaved Palestinians and Israelis who have chosen a path of reconciliation in order to prevent other families from experiencing their terrible pain. The group seeks to change Israeli and Palestinian awareness and public opinion by conducting intensive educational, public, and media activities promoting reconciliation as an alternative to hate and revenge.   



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