Russian artist responds to Charlie Hebdo with his own cartoon


“A caricaturist is also an artist” – Yury Kazantsev

November 7, 2015


Translated by Kristina Rus 

Russian artist Yury Kazantsev has created a caricature of the staff of the French satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo” which published cartoons about the crash of the Russian airliner A321.

After the publication in the magazine the top of Russian Twitter was dominated by  hashtag #ЯНеШарли [#IamnotCharlie]. Internet users responded to the French magazine  with a wave of indignation, condemning the cynicism of the publication.

“This morning Charlie Hebdo hashtag surfaced on Twitter, which we have not heard about in a while. Following the link, I saw two cartoons with falling debris and the skull. I don’t speak French, but I got the message. On the way to work I had the idea to portray the skeleton of a Frenchman in a beret, who reminds that a cartoonist is also an artist. The idea is that the ability to draw what comes to mind should not go against morality. Trying to provoke a reaction and a laugh through inappropriate humor – is low”, — said Kazantsev in an interview  to “PolitRussia”.

Russian cartoonist admitted that he was shocked by the attack on Charlie Hebdo staff who were shot after the publication of cartoons about prophet Mohammed. The artist stressed that he has always been for freedom of expression. “Art and freedom — are two essential attributes of an artist,” – he said.

Earlier on Friday the official representative of the foreign ministry of France Roman Nadal said that the French authorities have no relation to the cartoons, which appeared in the magazine “Charlie Hebdo” after the crash of the Russian airliner in Egypt. “The opinions expressed by the journalists in France are free, but they do not impose any obligation on the French authorities,” – said Nadal.

“On the one hand, I agree that to restrict the freedom of others is wrong. On the other hand, the state is responsible for its citizens, for each and everyone. Especially when it comes to media. If you were anyone — even a prophet, even a President — nothing gives you the right to laugh at another’s misfortune. Another thing — when you are trying to protect yourself from unnecessary problems and to pretend that that it doesn’t concern you”, — Kazantsev commented on the reaction of Paris.

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