13 January 2015 Je Suis Charlie

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13 January 2015 Je Suis Charlie

In response to the recent tragic events in France, the Bunker Cartoon Gallery is now displaying a special selection of cartoons with a focus on striving for peace and harmony.


Coffs Harbour local Jules Faber, who is also the President of the Australian Cartoonists Association, summed up the views of many – particularly his fellow cartoonists - in a piece he wrote for the ACA website:


“Freedom of speech is the primary tool of all cartoonists. It isn’t pen or ink or graphic tablet. It isn’t the page, the file or the canvas they use. It is the freedom to speak their own opinion based on truth. In Paris this week, this tool was momentarily blunted by extremists who do not hold that freedom of speech is a tool. They consider it a threat. Where freedom of speech has the power to change minds, extremism would rather destroy any objection to their own beliefs. But this of course, is an illusion to the short-sighted. It doesn’t blunt the tool at all. It sharpens it. It makes it stronger…We are Charlie Hebdo.”


The Bunker Gallery has now extended its Christmas holidays exhibition to include selected cartoons which highlight the challenge to society to think about creating peace in the world. 


The cartoons on display are by Frank William Mahony (1905-1982), Peter Lewis, Chris Wilson, Aleksander Ecimovic, Pierpaolo Perazzoli and Nicholas Martin.


A good example of what is on show is Mahony’s classic Channel Swim 1970, which shows Liberty swimming through rough seas past a marker buoy with the sign which reads, ‘Tranquil shore of world harmony somewhere over there’, while the dove of peace flies ahead, olive sprig in its beak.  This cartoon is an original, timeless and rare example from one of Australia’s early and prolific editorial cartoonists.

The Bunker Cartoon Gallery is located at John Champion Way, Coffs Harbour, and is open Monday to Saturday 10am-4pm.  Entry costs $2 per adult and $1 per child over five years old. 


The current exhibitions will continue until January 24. The Gallery will be open on Monday January 26, the Australia Day Holiday.