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Interview with Massoud Shojai Tabatabai/ cartoonists’ view of Corona Virus

Interview with Massoud Shojai Tabatabai/ cartoonists’ view of Corona Virus

Sayyed Massoud Shojaei Tabatabai believes “many concepts relating to Corona Virus can be inferred from cartoons and caricatures, in this way we can give advice without giving advice, and show some necessary measures such as social distance, because different jokes that are made base on the corona virus, can be more effective.”.   

Irancartoon website states that according to ILNA news agency, nowadays, we hear breaking news about Corona Vires. Meanwhile different artists are also aware of it and hold various exhibitions and events on this subject.  "We defeat Corona" is one of the international contests on the field of visual art, that was held by the Ministry of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, the General Office of Visual Arts of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Visual Art Center of Hoze-Honari, the Cultural Foundation of Ravayat-e Fath (The Tales of Victory) of the General Directorate of Islamic Culture and Guidance of Fars Province, the Ehsan Foundation, the Executive Organization of the Imam’s commands and the Vice President for Science and Technology.

Sayyed Massoud Shojaei Tabatabai, general secretary of the international contest “we defeat Corona”, said: “Iran was the first country to do a cultural and artistic actions on Corona in the international arena. After call for the contest, more than 4,200 artists from 88 countries, including Turkey, China, India and Indonesia, Brazil, Russia, Serbia and Ukraine took part in the competition. The virtual exhibition of more than 2200 cartoons of the "We Defeat Corona" contest is available on the Irancartoon website.


He continued: “the cartoons are printed in a 310-page book, the preface is written by the Minister of Health. We are waiting for the date of ceremony to be determined by the Ministry, because they are one of the sponsors and the Minister of Health is supposed to be present at the closing ceremony. Due to the conditions, the ceremony may be hold online. The date is not set yet.”

Referring to the feedbacks, Shojaei Tabatabai said: "Considering the fact that a large number of participants in this contest were foreign artists, we received very good feedbacks in the international arena."

Participation of members of Federation of European Cartoonists Organization in the contest is remarkable. Even the president and vice president of the federation had submitted works to participate in this contest. Doaa el-Adl, who was selected as the best cartoonist in the Arab world about two years ago, the best cartoonist in Europe in 2019 and the best cartoonist in Latin America, also participated, which shows the importance of this contest in the international arena.

Some media affiliated to the Zionist regime stated that the organizer of this contest is the same as the organizer of the Holocaust contest. Although the Irancartoon site has held several contests on the subject of the Zionist regime in recent years, but Zionist tried to link the "We Defeat the Corona" contest to other topics, Ironically that was a good advertisement for the contest.

The general secretary of the international contest "We defeat Corona" said: The three winners (There is also an Iranian artist among them) will receive 1500, 1000 and 500 Euros as prize along with a trophy and honorable mentions.

In response to the question “whether the Ministry of Health, as one of the sponsors of this cartoon contest, is going to use the cartoons for cultural purposes?”, said: Not yet, but aim to prepare an opportunity to use them in public spaces. The contest has four sections, among which we can mention the health recommendations section. It seems that the artworks related to this section can be used at the public spaces to show some healthcare advices, such as observing social distance and wearing a mask, that are among the topics that have been considered by cartoonists to display them in form of humor.




“health defenders” was also a theme considered by the artists; in their artworks use of the well-known heroes of their countries symbolizes “health defenders”, for instance European or American artists used Superman and such characters. Artists from Central Asia, and Far East or Arab and Muslim countries, used the images of saints and angels. For Iranian artists, about 439 artists, veterans and firefighters were symbolic of “health defenders”. 




The relation of politic and Coronavirus was also another theme that was given a welcome by the artists.



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