Facing the Climate
Climate change is one of the issues at the very top of the Swedish government’s list of priorities. To encourage debate and offer fresh perspectives, Embassy of Sweden in Ankara is presenting an exhibition of Swedish cartoonists who use humour and satire to illustrate their commitment to the climate issue. The exhibition, entitled Facing the Climate, has been produced by the Swedish Institute together with five Swedish cartoonists: Magnus Bard, Riber Hansson, Helena Lindholm, Karin Sunvisson and Love Antell.
Sweden is known as a country that takes environmental issues and sustainability seriously. But taking something seriously doesn’t necessarily mean viewing it without humour. In this exhibition, satire and humour are combined with a genuinely felt appeal for a more responsible attitude towards the climate issue.
Climate change is threatening our living environments, causing natural disasters and forcing people to flee their homes. A sustainable future necessitates ambitious climate, energy and environment policies.
The government wants Sweden to take a leading role in efforts to secure a more sustainable society through positive action and a strong commitment to the global development goals and Agenda 2030. The Facing the Climate exhibition examines climate change from different angles. In it, the five Swedish cartoonists and the Swedish Embassy offer an alarming and disarming view of the matter. The aim is to contribute to the public debate, fire the imagination and provide a different perspective on the climate issue.
Meet Swedish cartoonists:
My pictures play with unexpected encounters of value-loaded motifs. The juxtaposition will create new associations. Sometimes the picture will be explained in the illustrated text or by the context. One of my pictures for the exhibition “Facing the Climate” is a branch with the shape of the world map. Other pictures are more associative. Icebergs are melting, and in the water mirror you’ll see oil drillings, illuminated cities, take away coffee mugs, and President Obama. I find my pictures as a way of turning stones. www.loveantell.se/illustration.html
My job illustrating a daily newspaper’s editorial page means I am constantly having to take a stand on political issues: For? Against? Doubtful? I often get angry and would like to draw ‘loud’ cartoons, but I think I reach more readers if I choose another tone of voice, one that doesn’t scare people away. I want to make readers think with my cartoons, but above all I want to make politics interesting for more people by showing how important it is in our lives and what power it can have – a power than can also offer people hope.
When I was a young man, I loved to read science fiction stories. Often the simple plot was that the Earth was destroyed by some catastrophe, and the survivors were leaving Earth in big spaceships to restart on a new wonderful planet. Today we actually might be approaching this situation in reality. Unfortunately, some new and depressing information has been added to the plot line: there is no planet we can escape to – at the moment they are all too far away. You need a lot of fuel to drive a spaceship for 7 billion people, and we have already used most of it driving cars. I’m really sorry to tell you this bad news. But I also have some good news for you:
……we can stay!
if we cooperate and all do something for the climate we can stay on our planet. And that’s not bad. And this is exactly what the exhibition Facing the Climate is about: If we cooperate, we can keep the Earth alive and stay on it! www.riber.se
In a big family of four sisters, all with long fingers and big mouths, we all had to find our own ways of being heard and seen. So, I was the clown and found my best tool in the pen. Caricatures of co-travelers on the subway or in classrooms developed into a living, and given my fascination with ink and lines, I do most of my work by hand. The use of satire, cartoons and political illustrations is my way of catching the reader’s attention, and hopefully interest, for issues that might not always be easy, lightweight and fun. The power of humor is NOT to be underestimated. www.helenaillustration.com
The most important component of my work with political illustration is ethical responsibility. I am very careful about what my images say and I put down an enormous amount of time in the research of a given subject, thinking thoroughly about how an image could be interpreted, or misinterpreted, in its context. I therefore work very slowly, privileging thoughtfulness over spontaneity, precision over fun. Political illustration is a very serious business. www.k-a-r-i-n.biz