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Jury 24ste Euro-kartoenale Kruishoutem 'Future of Mobility'


Marilena Nardi

Marilena Nardi is the president of our jury.


She is a cartoonist, illustrator and teacher at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice. She has designed for many periodicals such as Diario, Corriere della Sera, L’Antitempo, Il Fatto Quotidiano. She has collaborated or still collaborates with Erbacce, Left, Cartoon Movement, Siné Madame, Siné Men- suel, Espoir and Le Monde. Since the 15th of September 2020 she has been working on a regular basis with the newspaper Domani, directed by Stefano Feltri.


Among the awards received: the First Prize at the World Press Freedom Cartoon, Ottawa (in 2011 and in 2022), the Forte dei Marmi Award for Political Satire for Satirical Drawing (2013), the Prix Presse Internationale at the 35th Salon International de St-Just-le-Martel (2016) and the First Prize at the 23rd Euro-kartoenale Kruishouten (2021). In Caldas da Raínha, Portugal, she was the first woman to win the World Press Cartoon First Prize (2018). She takes part in Cartooning for Peace, United Sketches, France Cartoon and Librexpression/Libex.


And the person Marilena?

"I come from a simple family. To my anti-fascist and partisan father I owe some of my rebellious and dreamy spirit; to my mother the pragmatism that enabled me to become independent quickly, to work to pay for my studies. I owe both my parents a sense of humour and the ability to notice and appreciate small things.

I divide my time, with great difficulty, between the various newspapers with which I collaborate (alternating graphic humour, illustration and satire), my job as a teacher at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice and my family. I would like the days to last longer or the energy of when I was thirty (but the maturity of today)... alternatively, a butler would also suffice."


A good cartoon?

"In a cartoon, I look for the best combination between the graphic quality of the drawing and the idea that is expressed through the drawing. A drawing is an idea surrounded by a line. The definition is not mine, but it expresses well how the two things, idea and execution, must go together.

I don't think I have any messages to pass on to posterity. However, I do have things to say to my present. Through my drawings, I try to draw attention to issues that I consider important. Sometimes these are topical issues, other times they are more universal themes, such as respect for human rights or minorities. I deal with these issues honestly, directly, taking a stand and taking responsibility.

I don't like drawings that are in the balance (and ambiguous artists), good in one way and also in the opposite way (I'm talking mostly about satire, drawings that deal with current issues). In my drawings, there are some that have different degrees of reading, but they are not contradictory and are not for all seasons. I believe that the role of the cartoonist is to be the first to listen, to prod the politicians and the powerful, to focus on things that don't work to improve them.

The cartoonist, the editorial cartoonist, is not exactly a journalist (except in special cases) but rather a commentator and with his drawings he can be very annoying. He sometimes runs enormous risks, as in the Charlie Hebdo massacre, to defend the right to freedom of expression for himself and for others. Censorship has always existed: it varies according to the laws, customs and democratic character of a state. If the state is not very democratic, a cartoonist's work is precisely about gaining more freedom for himself and for everyone else.

We live in an age where images are predominant, but people often do not know how to read and interpret them. Cartoons roam the web, leaving the context for which they were intended, to be seen by people who do not share the same language or do not have the cultural tools to decipher them. They are seen, but not understood.


If there is one thing I would like, apart from the butler..., I would like people to be more attentive, more respectful, more willing to understand and know, and less judgmental.


To conclude, if I had to adopt a slogan, I would say that every poetic act is also a political act."


Saman Torabi

Saman Torabi was born in 1981, in Tehran, Iran. His artistic career in cartooning and caricature began as a child. His work was first published in the magazine "Comic and Caricature" when he was 13 years old. He completed his Master's degree 'Restoration and Conservation of Cultural Heritage (M.A)' at Isfahan Academy in 2008.


He then started participating in cartoon and caricature festivals and exhibitions. His first solo exhibition was at "Iran Cartoon House" in Tehran in 2011. His international breakthrough came when he won his first major prize at the international cartoon festival "Universal Tolerance" in Norway in 2013. Nowadays, he is recognised as one of the best cartoonists in the world and has won more than 30 awards at a number of prestigious festivals such as Satyrykon in Poland (three times), Aydin Dogan in Turkey and an honourable mention at the Euro-Kartoenale in Kruishoutem. He has also been a jury member in many national and international cartoon competitions.

Torabi is also active as a graphic designer creating posters, logos and book covers.


For Saman Torabi a cartoon is a kind of visual art and it must have the characteristics of an artwork such as good drawing and proper composition. "In fact, cartoons are known as illustrations that contain critical, hopeful, inspiring, informative messages that can be expressed in humorous or very bitter and sad. What is important is that it affects the audience and everyone can communicate with it like a common language. In my opinion, a new and pristine idea is the first importance and ideas should be implemented with a method and technique that can deliver the message to the audience in the best way. When a new idea and a great artistic execution technique come together, we will face an artistic masterpiece."


A personal message to the world?

"What we are witnessing in today's world is the very rapid changes in technology, the digital world and industries, which have caused unfortunate changes in the way of human life and climate changes on the planet. In addition, in the 21st century, in many parts of the world, humanity is still involved in war, displacement and mass killing of people. Some countries are also governed under the control of autocratic dictators, and people there are deprived of deserved freedoms such as freedom of speech and equal rights.


I hope that peace and tranquility will return to human life very soon and technology can provide easier and better living conditions for humans in the future. Also, people in many parts of the world live in unequal social, economic and health conditions, and many of them are forced to migrate and leave their families and places of residence. I hope that one day all geographical, political and social boundaries will disappear and all people will live in the same and equal conditions and racial, cultural and religious differences will make life more attractive and the world colorful."


And a motto ?

"My motto is to spread equality and peace in the whole world."


Ronald Vanoystayen

Ronald is the founder of the George Van Raemdonckkartoenale and of the International Humour in Art (IHA) at Boechout. An experienced cartoonist who has already taken part in several national and international juries, as well as being a amateur cartoonist himself.


'You can call me old school, but cartoons to me are still best in black and white, a simple one-line drawing.'


As a jury member, he believes it is important to make a choice in good conscience and come to a final decision as a panel of jury members which you can stand behind for one hundred percent. 'The jury's choice, according to those who did not receive a prize, is never the right choice anyway. And another jury might make a different choice. Nor can you ever have seen all the cartoons in the world and so you can't exclude the possibility that the work of your choice has been plagiarized or has already won awards.'


In Kruishoutem, Ronald expects a very high quality of cartoons because they will be exhibited at the European Cartoon Center. 'Each cartoon will therefore receive my special attention,' Vanoystaeyen said.


Perhaps his scout totem 'Musing Panther' gives a nice insight into his personality.

And a final message for everyone: 'Humor is the eternal that drinks a drink with the temporary' (Noldus Kee).


Nikola (IOA) Hendrickx

Nikola "Ioa" Hendrickx was born in 1982 in Dendermonde. Since 2012, he has settled in the city of Carnival Aalst (Belgium).


Although he graduated as a civil engineer from the Royal Military Academy, drawing and painting were always a passion for him. His passion for cartoons started in 2004, when he participated in a cartoon contest for the first time. Since then, he has won prizes in Belgium, Poland, Romania, Syria, France, Slovakia, Germany, Italy and China. In 2013, he won second prize in the prestigious Knokke-Heist Cartoon Festival. He currently produces a monthly political cartoon for the international magazine 'Europe Diplomatic'.


For several years now, he has mainly focused on illustrations for children's books for which he has already collaborated with authors such as Marc de Bel ("Prinses Pruilsnuit", "Prins Oliebol", "Kleine Pan") and Mario De Koninck ("Maarten en de magie van de mantel", "De prinses die alles had"). With this last book, he won the "LangZullenWeLezen" trophy from the Belgian Broadcasting Company (VRT) in 2018. He is currently working on a new picture book about war and peace commissioned by the Ministry of Defence.


And who is Nikola as a person ?

"I am a very introverted person. I feel most at ease in a quiet environment without too many people around me. In my studio, I can therefore completely shut myself off from the outside world and l lose myself in my inner world. Drawing does not so much relax me, for that I am too concentrated and it is usually tiring. I am also a perfectionist and I am never one hundred per cent satisfied with my work. Frustrating sometimes, because you think 'this or that could be different', but it is always a challenge to do better next time."


And as a jury member?

"I focus on three elements that, for me, must be present in a good cartoon: an original perspective, beautiful graphics and it must provoke an emotion. That can be a smile or a tear. Cartoons drawn and coloured by hand have an advantage for me. They have more character and you obviously recognise the artist's personal touch.


What do you hope for?

"I hope to see some new Belgian talent. I always see the same names returning among the Belgian prize winners. Well-deserved, of course, but I am sure there is a lot of additional talent in our little country that can break through internationally.  

And I hope one day to be able again to participate in the Euro-kartoenale and other international cartoon competititions. Unfortunately, due to my current activities, I no longer find the time for that, but I do miss it. Maybe I will take a break from illustrating books in the near future, so that I can take part in some cartoon competitions again."


A slogan to finish with ?

"Cartoons are like islands in seas of text'. I used to watch cartoons in newspapers as a child, without reading all those miserable articles. A cartoon with a strong message doesn't need an explanation and is stronger than words."


Cécile Bertrand

"I studied painting at Saint Luc- Liège Belgium. In 1975, my thesis, in spite of the reservations (Painting with a capital P being what it was at the time), was about... press drawings!


After having written many children's books (Seuil, Nathan, Lothrop in New York, Agertoft in Denmark, etc.), I dared to touch press cartoons, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, an event that affected me deeply. I joined the magazine Le Vif in January 1990, then Plus Magazine, then Axelle (the magazine of Vie Féminine - which allows me to express all the good I think of the status of women!), Imagine, and, since 21 May 2005, LA LIBRE, where I have held the post of editorial cartoonist with my "poux" for nearly 10 years. LE COURRIER INTERNATIONAL regularly publishes my press cartoons. Le MONDE in France published some of my drawings, and so did Le TEMPS in Switzerland.


I was awarded an HONORABLE MENTION at the PCP (PRIX DU CARTOON DE PRESSE, precursor of the PCB) in 1999, and the GRAND PRIX DU PRESSCARTOON BELGIUM in 2007 and in 2011. I am a member of Cartooning for Peace. Since 2 years

I have been working with Yannick Vancolen (who worked at VIF/L'EXPRESS at the same time as me) and we publish under the name of "bert&VANCO" bert for bertrand and VANCO for Vancolen. I also paint, sculpt and take photographs.


What can I say about myself ?!  That I am an oxymoron all by myself!

I am a lazy worker, or a brave coward, a talented girl without talent, a fearful volunteer, a solidarity loner, a disengaged activist, a feminist who loves men, I love life and hate it,  I am a specialist in generalities...


For me, a good cartoon is a whole, the idea and the graphics that are in it at the same time. I cannot approve a cartoon that does not contain these two criteria. My standard for the idea is obviously that it corresponds to the theme and that it brings humour or reflection. As for the graphics, I am open to a great deal of diversity, as this is not my first jury. I will be attentive to each graphic design proposal before putting it aside!


I hope that the competition can help discover new, younger talent, especially young women, because we need new blood and we need to encourage women to "enter" this essentially male world. And overall I hope to be surprised in a good way by the quality of this year's competition.


Diego Herrera


YAYO is the pen name of Diego Herrera. Visual artist and cartoonist born in 1961 in Columbia and living in Montreal Canada since 1987. 


He makes cartoons, illustrations and children’s books for publishers in Canada, the United States of America, Colombia and France. In his own work he likes to simplify and only keep the essential. He is convinced that a great cartoon, a beautiful image, ultimately can make you a better person. 


Yayo's artwork has been exhibited individually and collectively  in Canada, Colombia, Europe, United States, Mexico and Turkey. His work has been awarded worldwide, notably with the Grand Prix Portocartoon in Portugal, the Grand Prix The Golden Smile, in Belgrade and the Charles Biddle Award, in Quebec.


As a jury member YAYO will pay attention to works that are able to suggest things without saying it directly. He loves the power of evocation. But of course, all the aesthetic elements must come to support that so that the charm operates.


"I am fascinated by simple and naive old toys. They make me dream. For example, a small old toy truck evokes childhood and old time and makes you travel in time and space. 


A Message to the world: Hope and beauty are possible despite human stupidity. 

I hope that we humans learn from our mistakes and try to have more respectful relationships between us and with nature.

In this case respect is another word for love.    


Personal slogan: Keep going on, one step at the time."