Italian cartoonist Gio is the winner of World Press Cartoon 2021


The World Press Cartoon is back in Caldas da Rainha, one of UNESCO’s Creative Cities. Cartoonists from all over the world retrace a new chapter in cartoons.

This 2021 edition is strongly marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, but also by the defense of freedom of the press and of expression, a major tradition during the event.

The event kicked off with a caricature drawing session in the city center, before the official awards ceremony which highlights the best works of 2020 published in print and on the internet.

The year was well summed up by the Albanian cartoonist, Agim Sulaj, whose 2020 shaped mask design won him second prize in the Cartoon Gag category.

Sulaj says the idea to do this drawing came to him when he was looking for masks in his home. He found three or four and they were shaped like a zero. He saw them through “artist’s eyes” and that’s what inspired him.

In a year marked by the handover of power between former US President Donald Trump and Joe Biden and by the health crisis, designers have not forgotten the environmental emergency and this has resulted in the first prize in the category “Caricature”. It was awarded to Mexican designer Darío Castillejos.

Castillejos told euronews that “the cartoons are like a double mirror. The character of the person who is drawn can be reflected, but we can also reflect ourselves”.

He made a cartoon drawing of Greta Thunberg to make the public think about protecting our planet. She is portrayed as Little Red Riding Hood, but she is not carrying cookies in her basket, but the world. The message is that the world in its basket must be protected from the wolves around it.

Other current events that have caught the attention of cartoonists in 2020 include the death of George Floyd and the debate over police violence and racism, Brexit and the passing of Maradona.

In the category “Editorial comic”, the first prize went to the Ukrainian Konstantin Kazanchev. António Antunes, the curator and organizer of World Press Cartoon describes it as “the construction of the world in a lie. All the living forces of society, from military power to religious power, including the judiciary, share the same lie” .

He says this is a “caustic sight”, but it also acts as a warning.

Mariagrazia Quaranta, better known as “Gio”, was unable to attend the event. However, she was the big winner of the day. She won first prize in the Cartoon Gag category as well as the 2021 World Press Cartoon Grand Prize with a drawing published in the online newspaper Mundiario.

Antunes says the article “highlights the importance of print media, which leaves an imprint on our culture.” In a way, “it also alerts us to the decadence of the written press,” he adds.

The exhibition presents drawings handpicked by the international jury of the event from among hundreds of drawings. They are open to the public at the Centro Cultural e de Congressos de Caldas da Rainha until October 17.

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