Tehran International Cartoon Festival in Support of OWS
Following is an excerpt from a TV report on the "Occupy Wall Street International Cartoon Festival" in Iran, which aired on Press TV and was posted on Youtube on July 9, 2012.
Reporter: A cartoon festival [was held] in Tehran to support the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States. The event, known as the International Wall Street Downfall Cartoon Festival, showcases the works of cartoonists from 45 countries. Most of the works portray an end to capitalism, and the income disparity of America's social middle class and the so-called 99%.
"Jury member" Shahin Kalantari: What makes this event significant is its subject, which is based on a fresh and up-to-date event. At first, we did not believe that it would receive this much attention, due to its new topic and short deadline, but now we can see some of the big names among participating cartoonists.
Reporter: The event is organized by Iran's Fars News Agency. The exhibition displays the works of some of the world's top cartoonists. Many activists say that the Occupy Wall Street movement, which started in September 2011, has been widely censored by the US mainstream media.
Organizers of the cartoon festival say that their main goal is to help people of the United States take their message out to the world.
Festival Executive Secretary Mohammad Azizi: We chose the best works out of more than 1,500 cartoons. When counting the works for display, there were 99 cartoons, and that was quite accidental. We thought that the best way to portray the OWS movement was through art, especially cartoons and satirical works, because a message carried by hours of speech or lengthy pages of an article can be presented to people in one single picture.
Reporter: The Occupy Wall Street movement touches on the growing income inequality and wealth distribution in the US between the so-called wealthiest 1% and the rest of the population. The protests, which began in New York City's financial district, quickly led to Occupy protests and movements around the world.
Organizers of the event have expressed hope that the festival could attract further support for the American and European protesters and all others who have been dealing with poverty, corruption, and discrimination.
Amir Mehdi Kazemi, Press TV, Tehran.