There has never been a project like this before here in Liberia. It is so important that Liberians take ownership of this project. What we are doing is good for the kids.
Cartooning for Justice Workshop
The first workshop was launched in 2018, and 30 art students attended. “Should wartime crimes be punished in Liberia today?” was the question tackled by the students that during four full days learned classic storytelling techniques and cartooning skills. Through group discussions, we freely encouraged them to debate existing justice measures, reflect upon their conceptions of justice, and the need for war crimes accountability. These focused discussions were dedicated to theoretical foundations and justification for punishment, including theories of consequentialism, retributivism, and restorative justice. Additionally, the students discussed how these theories might be applied within the context of post-conflict Liberia. The lessons, drawing exercises, and discussions all contributed to the larger goal of having the students engage in debates on justice and accountability in Liberia for its 14 years of civil war (1989-2003).
“Cartooning for Justice” was initially funded by the Kathryn W. Davis Peace Foundation grant, which was generously donated by Felix Lüth and Livio Silvia-Müller, students of the Graduate Institute of Geneva. Swiss-Congolese cartoonist, JP Kalonji, also contributed to the program.
I think cartoons can help the situation of justice in Liberia by moving fear [from victim to perpetrator]
In the Press
Essential to the overall goal of the project, we ensured some of the final cartoons produced by the students of the workshop were featured in a leading West African newspaper.
- August 26 2018 - FrontPage Africa - Should War-Time Crimes be Punished in Liberia Today? Roundtable set to promote debate by combining research and cartooning.
- August 28 2018 - FrontPage Africa - Government is Obliged to Set Up War Crimes Court - Hassan Bility
- August 29 2018 - FrontPage Africa - Should War-Time Crimes be Punished in Liberia Today? Discussion with Esteemed Participants
- August 31 2018 - FrontPage Africa - A Presentation at a One-Day Workshop on Transitional Justice Organized by Civitas Maxima at the I-Campus on Carey Street, Monrovia on August 28, 2018
- September 3 2018 - FrontPage Africa - Should War-Time Crimes be Punished in Liberia Today? - Expressing Through Cartoons
I think I can contribute to the debates on justice and accountability in Liberia by telling my stories and communicating other people’s stories.
Cartooning for Justice Partners
The Cartooning for Justice Workshop is the product of collaboration between:
Kathryn W. Davis Peace Foundation - Davis Peace Project
students of Geneva’s Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
JP Kalonji, the Swiss-Congolese Geneva-based artist
Liberia Visual Arts Academy (LivArts) in Monrovia, Liberia.
And others, such as Caran D'Ache and Stabilo are supporting our project.