Over 40 international and worldwide renowned artists, including the Pulitzer Prize winners Pat Oliphant and Jim Morrin, Liza Donnelly of the New Yorker, Spain’s El-Roto, and No Rio from Japan, use their cartoons to depict their personal views on war and peace. In order to highlight the communicative and dialogue-generating capabilities of cartoons, Women without Borders (WwB) teamed up with The Parents Circle-Families Forum to host an exhibition on 1 March 2010 at the Radisson BLU Palais Hotel in Vienna entitled ‘Cartoons in Conflict’. The Parents Circle-Families Forum, a grassroots organization whose members include over 500 Israelis and Palestinians who have lost family members in the conflict, gathered the artworks for the exhibition in an effort to promote peace and dialogue about the effects of violence on the lives of the artists. The Parents Circle-Families Forum engages in projects to change the consciousness of both sides as well as public opinion in education and the media, and to provide alternatives to hate and revenge. The members have a common goal: the path to reconciliation, so that further families do not have to experience pain, loss, and grief. In the words of Robi Damelin, one of two speakers from Parents Circle at the exhibition’s opening, ‘These artists have a unique ability to convey complicated and challenging themes with just a few brushstrokes. Their art illustrates the destructive absurdity of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and serves as a catalyst for hope, peace, and reconciliation’.
Robi Damelin, The Parents Circle-Families Forum: Damelin’s son was killed by a Palestinian sniper.
Seham Ikhlayel, the Parents Circle-Families Forum: an Israeli soldier shot Iklhayel’s brother