From February 10 to 13, 2021, 30 young people aged 15 to 25 and from 17 different nationalities meet by videoconference to study all the “Our Freedom 2021 Prize” proposals received from all over the world. This international panel of judges must deliberate and determine collectively which are the 3 people or organizations whose fights are according to them the most representative of a fight for freedom. Meeting with Willis from Tunis, cartoonist and president of the international panel of judges.
Open to young people around the world, the Freedom Prize is a device for raising awareness among 15-25 year olds about freedom, peace and human rights. Why is it important for you to participate in such a project?
This project is very important for two reasons: bringing together young people from all over the world to discuss our common questions about threatened freedoms, to debate, to dialogue and to share; reward a person or an organization so that it can continue its struggle. Being united and sticking together is essential during this tormented period which threatens freedoms.
The jury that you chair will study 251 people and organizations proposed through the call for proposals "Our Freedom Prize 2021" and select 3 of them at the end of the deliberations. How do you see this?
The choice will be complicated because all freedoms deserve to be defended. But I am sure that the richness of our discussions and the ability to listen will help us during the deliberations.
17 nationalities are represented on this jury. What can this diversity bring to the deliberations?
Points of view will certainly be different, but the principles, the "values" that unite us are very similar. The exchanges will only be more enriching.
As president of the jury, what do you want to bring and pass on to the 30 young participants during the deliberations?
I see it as an exchange. I will fully listen to their thoughts, their doubts. My experience as a press cartoonist as well as my investment in the fight for freedoms will allow me to give them a different angle to approach their questions.
Willis from Tunis was born on Thursday, January 13, 2011, during Tunisia’s deposed president’s speech, which promised, among other things, freedom of expression. Initially, this feline cartoon chronicle was used to share the author’s feelings about the historical situation that Tunisians were going through with her entourage on Facebook. With a satirical tone of wry and sometimes black humor, the tomcat chronicled the news on a daily basis. From about twenty friends on Facebook initially, Willis from Tunis has over 50,000 followers today.
Nadia Khiari, a teacher of fine arts, painter and cartoonist, has published several collections of revolution chronicle cartoons and her drawings appear in Siné Mensuel, Courrier international and Zelium.
She received the Honoré Daumier Award (at the second meeting of Cartooning for Peace in Caen in 2012), the insignia of Doctor Honoris Causa of the University of Liège in 2013, the international prize in political satire in Forte dei Marmi (October 2014), The Agora Med Price in Genoa (June 2015), The “Couilles au cul” at the Off off off Angoulême Festival (January 2016), The Prize of the cartoonists in The Festival “Traits d’humour” (Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, October 2017) and the Sokol Prize (karikaturmuseum in Krems, Austria, September 2018).