Cartoonists in Argentina

By Ana von Rebeur
FECO Argentina

Argentina is the birthplace of some or of the most world known cartoonists around the planet: Quino, Mordillo and Fontanarrosa, to name a few.
This amount of successful cartoonists in a single country is due to two factor : immigration and censorship. In the two last centuries, Argentina was populated by people who flew away from poverty and wars in different countries, They met here and were forced to share the new destination in spite of having different styles of living themselves. My great grandmothers were British, German, Italian, and Tchecoslovaquian, and they made fun of themselves: while one went out wearing a long dress and pearls, the other went out in short pants and backpack, each one following their own traditions.While one ate raw fish the other one spend long days making homepade pasta, and they laughed about this too. They were no ghettos here : every race mixed with the other . Their sons and daughters fell in love. They were great grandmothers of the same children. So, they chose to laugh of one another instead of fighting. Thus, the sarcastic humor of Argentinians.
Then, one dictatorship after the other forced Argentinians to live under censorship. You may notice that the most censored countries are the ones with the best cartoonists, because humor is a matephoric art that need smart people to get the message. And dictators are usual very dumb people. So, cartoons could jump over censorship and give relieve to the people.
Unfortunately, television, movies and internet industries covered the entertainment´s need of most of the people, and media doesn´t seem to need much cartoons anymore. But us cartoonist are tough people who may be working in another things to make a living, because it´s imposible to live by cartoons. We stubbornly insist on producing cartoons, organizing exhibitions , applying cartoons in books, brochures and advertising, making our own little magazines and teaching how to draw. We also get the great satisfaction of getting recognition everywhere in the world through our captionless drawings, that can be understood from Iran to China, from Peru to Indonesia. We believe in cartoons because they are the most universal way of communication. Cartoons show that all human beings are equal regardless the race, nationality or crede. Though being a cartoonists is a bizarre adventure, us cartoonists are the fortunate people who make the people feel closer one to the other,because we laugh at the same things.

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