Friday, 31 January 2014

Cartoonists protest Angouleme's association with Israeli drinks company, SodaStream


Cartoonists from around the world have put their names to an open letter to Frank Bondoux, the director of Angouleme, the largest and most renowned comics festival in the world, urging him to end all ties with the Israeli drinks manufacturer, SodaStream. SodaStream's main plant is located in the industrial zone of Mishor Edomin, an illegal settlement in the occupied West Bank, and has been the subject of several, escalating international boycotts, which most recently saw actress Scarlett Johannson step down from her role as ambassador for Oxfam, after the charity expressed their concern over her sponsorship deal with the company. 

Over four dozen cartoonists have signed the letter, including  Joe Sacco and Ben Katchor amongst others, and have set up a Tumblr for any other cartoonists also wishing to endorse and put their name to the letter (or by writing to lettertoangouleme@gmail.com ). The letter reads as follows (letter via Comics Reporter)

'We, cartoonists and illustrators from all countries, are surprised, disappointed and angry to find out that SodaStream is an official sponsor of the Angouleme International Comics Festival.
As you must know, SodaStream is the target of an international boycott call for its contribution to the colonization of Palestinian land, due to its factory in the illegal settlement of Ma'ale Adumim, its exploitation of Palestinian workers, and its theft of Palestinian resources, in violation of international law and contravening international principles of human rights.
Angouleme has had an important role in the appreciation of comics as an art form for over 40 years. It would be sad if SodaStream were able to use this event to whitewash their crimes.
We ask you to cut all ties between the Festival and this shameful company.
Sincerely,'

Khalid Albaih (Sudan) Leila Abdelrazaq (USA) Avoine (France) Edd Baldry (UK/France) Edmond Baudoin (France) Steve Brodner (USA) Berth (France) Susie Cagle (USA) Jennifer Camper (USA) Carali (France) Chimulus (France) Jean-Luc Coudray (France) Philippe Coudray (France) Marguerite Dabaie (USA) Eric Drooker (USA) Elchicotriste (Spain) Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz (USA) Ethan Heitner (USA) Paula Hewitt Amram (USA) Hatem Imam (Lebanon) Jiho (France) Ben Katchor (USA) Mazen Kerbaj (Lebanon) Lolo Krokaga (France) Nat Krokaga (France) Peter Kuper (USA) Carlos Latuff (Brazil) Lasserpe (France) Lerouge (France) Matt Madden (USA/France) Mric (France) Barrack Rima (Lebanon/Belgium) James Romberger (USA) Puig Rosado (France) Mohammad Saba'aneh (Palestine) Joe Sacco (USA) Malik Sajad (Kashmir) Amitai Sandy (Israel) Sine (France) Seth Tobocman (USA) Eli Valley (USA) Willis From Tunis (Tunisie/France) Jordan Worley (USA)

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