From the Vault: Cartoons for Peace–The Global Art of Satire

Nora Krug (Associate Professor in Illustration) passed along this interesting article about revolutionary international cartoons and animations. Here’s a snippet:

In the fabled ‘60s, Japanese students joined the Revolution, rejected the career-track production-line model of education, hit the streets, shut down the national universities. (Many were inspired by manga). Some set about creating their own idealized institution, based on academic and intellectual freedom, autonomy, internationalism: Kyoto Seika University opened in 1968. (Seika may be translated as something like “quintessence”). Yoshitomi signed on. In 1972, after a grueling series of faculty meetings, he finally gained approval (Seika emphasized democratic debate) for setting up a Cartoon Department. Every day of the next academic year, he invited mass media in, to build the department’s profile and challenge his students’ motivation.

The Kyoto International Cartoon Exhibition, which Yoshitomi-sensei founded
(or commenced conducting) in 1996, exposes Seika students every two years to role models from all over the world, and gives them a wider perspective on the role of cartooning (the 2000 show debuted in the UN headquarters in New York). It creates a priceless accumulation of teaching material, since all submissions remain in the department. And it educates the Japanese general public, revealing that cartoons thrive worldwide as a vital form of expression (serving to “ridicule, inform, and entertain”), and demonstrating beyond all doubt that cartooning is indeed a fine art.

Read the whole write-up here.

Thanks, Nora!