The Art of Civil Liberties Gallery Opens at ACLU WebsiteArtists have always been at the forefront of the global fight for free expression. Recently, they have pricked the nation's conscience in the face of Government assaults on individual rights in the name of national security.
Beginning this month, the American Civil Liberties Union will present civil liberties issues online through the eyes of political cartoonists and other artists. This rotating feature will change periodically, and will cover breaking news on the full gamut of civil liberties issues.
The inaugural presentation is of an art show that first appeared in June 2002 and continues to tour the country. Entitled "USA Patriot Art: Cartooning and Free Speech in War Time," this updated collection of 43 provocative and powerful cartoons has stirred up plenty of controversy. Some cartoons never got published. One cartoonist lost his job. The ACLU has received generous permission from the show's curators to present it online.
In the aftermath of September 11, freedom of speech has been under attack. Political cartoonists are not immune. In some cities cartoonists have been fired or lost freelance jobs because of cartoons critical of U.S. policy or for using "wrong" metaphors. Even nationally-known artists, such as Boondocks cartoonist Aaron McGruder and Ted Rall have been censored or repudiated.
In response, cartoonists Gary Huck, Mike Konopacki, Matt Wuerker and writer Alec Dubro put together a show of cartoons from 41 editorial cartoonists from the U.S. and Mexico. This unique show premiered at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC. June 21, 2002.