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Serbia: Cartoon exhibition shut down following criticism by state officials of caricature in local newspaper

16 November 2018
A cartoon exhibition was shut down in Serbia following criticism of one of the artist's caricatures of Hitler and Goebbels bottle-feeding politicians.
Photo: Caricature of Our Lives exhibition / Novi Optimizam Facebook

 

An exhibition by cartoonists Dušan Petričić and Predrag Koraksić Corax was shut down on 10 November 2018 after the latter’s caricature for daily newspaper Danas, which depicted Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels bottle-feeding members of the Serbian Progressive Party, copped criticism from the Ministry of Culture and Information.

The Caricature of Our Lives exhibition opened at the Dimitrije Tucovic library in Lazarevac on 9 November. That day, Danas had splashed Corax’s caricature of politicians Aleksander Martinovic and Vladimir Orlic being bottle fed by Hitler and Goebbels across its front page to mark International Day Against Fascism and Anti-Semitism.

The Serbian Ministry of Culture said the cartoon was “extremely inappropriate” and “calls into question the dignity of the president of Serbia and deputy of the assembly”, reported N1 TV.

“We note that this offensive comes at a time when both the president and the government of the Republic of Serbia give a great contribution to ongoing media reforms,” ​​the ministry said in a statement, according to N1 TV.

On the evening of 9 November, dozens of people turned up to the opening of Petričić and Corax’s exhibition holding copies of the controversial Danas newspaper. There was a panel discussion: What is your red line?

Podrška za Danas iz Lazarevca!

Posted by Novi Optimizam on Sunday, November 11, 2018

 

Local authorities reportedly ordered the removal of the cartoon exhibition the following day.

But Jasmina Ivanković, the library’s director, told Danas there was no political pressure behind her decision to remove the exhibition, which did not have a pre-determined closing date.

She said the opening night had turned into a political gathering, and it had been broadcast on Facebook Live without her consent.

The organisers of the exhibition, Novi Optimizam (New Optimism), denied this, saying no political leaders took part in the debate; only one opposition politician showed up but he was in the audience.

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