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  • So yeah, I'm a newspaper cartoonist --

  • political cartoonist.

  • I don't know if you've heard about it -- newspapers?

  • It's a sort of paper-based reader.

  • (Laughter)

  • It's lighter than an iPad,

  • it's a bit cheaper.

  • You know what they say?

  • They say the print media is dying --

  • who says that? Well, the media.

  • But this is no news, right?

  • You've read about it already.

  • (Laughter)

  • Ladies and gentlemen,

  • the world has gotten smaller.

  • I know it's a cliche, but look,

  • look how small,

  • how tiny it has gotten.

  • And you know the reason why, of course.

  • This is because of technology -- yeah.

  • (Laughter)

  • Any computer designers in the room?

  • Yeah well,

  • you guys are making my life miserable

  • because track pads used to be round,

  • a nice round shape.

  • That makes a good cartoon.

  • But what are you going to do with a flat track pad,

  • those square things?

  • There's nothing I can do as a cartoonist.

  • Well, I know the world is flat now.

  • That's true.

  • And the Internet has reached

  • every corner of the world,

  • the poorest, the remotest places.

  • Every village in Africa now has a cyber cafe.

  • (Laughter)

  • Don't go asking for a Frappuccino there.

  • So we are bridging the digital divide.

  • The Third World is connected,

  • we are connected.

  • And what happens next?

  • Well, you've got mail.

  • Yeah.

  • Well, the Internet has empowered us.

  • It has empowered you,

  • it has empowered me

  • and it has empowered some other guys as well.

  • (Laughter)

  • You know, these last two cartoons --

  • I did them live

  • during a conference in Hanoi.

  • And they were not used to that

  • in communist 2.0 Vietnam.

  • (Laughter)

  • So I was cartooning live on a wide screen --

  • it was quite a sensation --

  • and then this guy came to me.

  • He was taking pictures of me and of my sketches,

  • and I thought, "This is great, a Vietnamese fan."

  • And as he came the second day,

  • I thought, "Wow, that's really a cartoon lover."

  • And on the third day, I finally understood,

  • the guy was actually on duty.

  • So by now, there must be a hundred pictures of me

  • smiling with my sketches

  • in the files of the Vietnamese police.

  • (Laughter)

  • No, but it's true: the Internet has changed the world.

  • It has rocked the music industry;

  • it has changed the way we consume music.

  • For those of you old enough to remember,

  • we used to have to go to the store

  • to steal it.

  • (Laughter)

  • And it has changed the way

  • your future employer

  • will look at your application.

  • So be careful

  • with that Facebook account --

  • your momma told you, be careful.

  • And technology has set us free --

  • this is free WiFi.

  • But yeah, it has liberated us

  • from the office desk.

  • This is your life,

  • enjoy it.

  • (Laughter)

  • In short, technology, the internet,

  • they have changed our lifestyle.

  • Tech guru, like this man --

  • that a German magazine called the philosopher of the 21st century --

  • they are shaping the way we do things.

  • They are shaping the way we consume.

  • They are shaping our very desires.

  • (Laughter)

  • (Applause)

  • You will not like it.

  • And technology has even changed

  • our relationship to God.

  • (Laughter)

  • Now I shouldn't get into this.

  • Religion and political cartoons,

  • as you may have heard,

  • make a difficult couple,

  • ever since that day of 2005,

  • when a bunch of cartoonists in Denmark

  • drew cartoons that had repercussions all over the world --

  • demonstrations, fatwa,

  • they provoked violence. People died in the violence.

  • This was so sickening;

  • people died because of cartoons.

  • I mean --

  • I had the feeling at the time

  • that cartoons had been used by both sides, actually.

  • They were used first by a Danish newspaper,

  • which wanted to make a point on Islam.

  • A Danish cartoonist told me he was one of the 24

  • who received the assignment to draw the prophet --

  • 12 of them refused. Did you know that?

  • He told me, "Nobody has to tell me what I should draw.

  • This is not how it works."

  • And then, of course, they were used

  • by extremists and politicians on the other side.

  • They wanted to stir up controversy.

  • You know the story.

  • We know that cartoons can be used as weapons.

  • History tells us,

  • they've been used by the Nazis

  • to attack the Jews.

  • And here we are now.

  • In the United Nations,

  • half of the world is pushing

  • to penalize the offense to religion --

  • they call it the defamation of religion --

  • while the other half of the world is fighting back

  • in defense of freedom of speech.

  • So the clash of civilizations is here,

  • and cartoons are at the middle of it?

  • This got me thinking.

  • Now you see me thinking

  • at my kitchen table,

  • and since you're in my kitchen,

  • please meet my wife.

  • (Laughter)

  • In 2006, a few months after,

  • I went Ivory Coast --

  • Western Africa.

  • Now, talk of a divided place -- the country was cut in two.

  • You had a rebellion in the North,

  • the government in the South -- the capital, Abidjan --

  • and in the middle, the French army.

  • This looks like a giant hamburger.

  • You don't want to be the ham in the middle.

  • I was there to report on that story

  • in cartoons.

  • I've been doing this for the last 15 years;

  • it's my side job, if you want.

  • So you see the style is different.

  • This is more serious than maybe editorial cartooning.

  • I went to places like Gaza

  • during the war in 2009.

  • So this is really journalism in cartoons.

  • You'll hear more and more about it.

  • This is the future of journalism, I think.

  • And of course, I went to see the rebels in the north.

  • Those were poor guys fighting for their rights.

  • There was an ethnic side to this conflict

  • as very often in Africa.

  • And I went to see the Dozo.

  • The Dozo, they are the traditional hunters

  • of West Africa.

  • People fear them --

  • they help the rebellion a lot.

  • They are believed to have magical powers.

  • They can disappear and escape bullets.

  • I went to see a Dozo chief;

  • he told me about his magical powers.

  • He said, "I can chop your head off right away

  • and bring you back to life."

  • I said, "Well, maybe we don't have time for this right now."

  • (Laughter)

  • "Another time."

  • So back in Abidjan,

  • I was given a chance to lead a workshop

  • with local cartoonists there

  • and I thought, yes,

  • in a context like this, cartoons can really be used as weapons

  • against the other side.

  • I mean, the press in Ivory Coast was bitterly divided --

  • it was compared to the media in Rwanda

  • before the genocide --

  • so imagine.

  • And what can a cartoonist do?

  • Sometimes editors would tell their cartoonists

  • to draw what they wanted to see,

  • and the guy has to feed his family, right?

  • So the idea was pretty simple.

  • We brought together cartoonists

  • from all sides in Ivory Coast.

  • We took them away from their newspaper for three days.

  • And I asked them to do a project together,

  • tackle the issues affecting their country

  • in cartoons, yes, in cartoons.

  • Show the positive power of cartoons.

  • It's a great tool of communication

  • for bad or for good.

  • And cartoons can cross boundaries,

  • as you have seen.

  • And humor is a good way, I think,

  • to address serious issues.

  • And I'm very proud of what they did.

  • I mean, they didn't agree with each other -- that was not the point.

  • And I didn't ask them to do nice cartoons.

  • The first day, they were even shouting at each other.

  • But they came up with a book,

  • looking back at 13 years

  • of political crisis in Ivory Coast.

  • So the idea was there.

  • And I've been doing projects like this,

  • in 2009 in Lebanon,

  • this year in Kenya, back in January.

  • In Lebanon, it was not a book.

  • The idea was to have --

  • the same principal, a divided country --

  • take cartoonists from all sides

  • and let them do something together.

  • So in Lebanon,

  • we enrolled the newspaper editors,

  • and we got them to publish

  • eight cartoonists from all sides all together on the same page,

  • addressing the issue affecting Lebanon,

  • like religion in politics and everyday life.

  • And it worked.

  • For three days, almost all the newspapers of Beirut

  • published all those cartoonists together --

  • anti-government,

  • pro-government,

  • Christian,

  • Muslim, of course,

  • English-speaking, well, you name it.

  • So this was a great project.

  • And then in Kenya, what we did

  • was addressing the issue of ethnicity,

  • which is a poison in a lot of places in Africa.

  • And we did video clips --

  • you can see them if you go to YouTube/Kenyatoons.

  • So, preaching for freedom of speech

  • is easy here,

  • but as you have seen

  • in contexts of repression or division,

  • again, what can a cartoonist do?

  • He has to keep his job.

  • Well I believe that in any context anywhere,

  • he always has the choice at least

  • not to do a cartoon

  • that will feed hatred.

  • And that's the message I try to convey to them.

  • I think we all always have the choice in the end

  • not to do the bad thing.

  • But we need to support

  • these [unclear], critical

  • and responsible voices

  • in Africa, in Lebanon,

  • in your local newspaper,

  • in the Apple store.