Political cartoonist Signe Wilkinson talks to us about the Me Too movement and how cartoons give hope
Pulitzer prize-winning political cartoonist Signe Wilkinson started as a part-time reporter at a small town newspaper in Philadelphia. “The local government meetings were often long and dull, so I started doodling drawings along the edges and the paper started using them,” she shares, explaining how she began her career. The artist’s body of work, such as famous cartoons of Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, will be displayed at the Indian Institute of Cartoonists this month in Bengaluru.
In 1991, Signe drew cartoons on the sexual misconduct allegations against Clarence Thomas by Anita Hill. These cartoons were included in her portfolio and led to her being awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning (1992) — the first woman to receive the recognition. “Now, it feels like that whole episode is being replayed, with the Brett Kavanaugh case,” she says.
When it comes to expressing her opinions through her cartoons, Signe has never held back, and she realises her unique position as a woman in the field. “Like politics, political cartoons are dominated by men. However, as issues like sexual assault and the whole #MeToo movement become stronger, more women are using cartoons to express themselves,” she says.
The exhibition will showcase Signe’s cartoons from over the years. Much of her work revolves around the current US president Donald Trump, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and issues such as free speech and surveillance in the US.
Until October 20. At Indian Institute of Cartoonists, Milford Garden