“If we can make use of cartoons to display messages such as social distancing during the pandemic, this would be more influential than orders or advisories,” Shojaei-Tabatabai said in a press release published on Tuesday.
“Cartoon is an international language and the irony it bears within itself can be the best medium for representing topics on coronavirus,” he added.
“People are going through hard times these days because of the pandemic, and if we can make good use of cartoons and transfer tips and topics on the new virus, we can help decrease the ordering aspects and display useful and healthy tips instead through cartoons,” he said.
“The jokes with different issues with the central theme of coronavirus can be more influential,” he remarked.
Shojaei-Tabatabai, who is the secretary of Iran’s We Defeat Coronavirus International Cartoon Contest, added, “Iran was one of the first countries that organized an international cartoon contest on coronavirus.”
Over 4200 cartoons have been submitted to the contest from different countries such as Turkey, China, India, Indonesia and Russia.
He added that European cartoonists have had active participation in the contest, adding that the Egyptian cartoonist Doa Al-Adl, who has been named one of the 100 most inspirations and influential women of 2016, was one of the contestants, indicating the high value of the contest, which was organized by Iran’s Art Bureau in collaboration with the Health Ministry.
He added that they are planning to showcase the participating cartoons for the public across the city, because the artworks can act as healthy tips and messages in these coronavirus days.
Turkish cartoonist Eray Ozbek presided over the international jury of the contest, which was composed of cartoonists Spiro Radulovic from Serbia, Nikola Vorontsov from Russia, Liuyi Wang from China and Marcio Leite from Brazil.
The jury for the national section consisted of Mohammad-Hossein Nirumand, Bahram Azimi, Masud Shojaei-Tabatabai and Salman Mohazzabieh.
Out of all the submissions, about 2000 cartoons have been posted on the irancartoon website.
Iran participated in the contest with 436 cartoonists standing on the top. Turkey came next with 82 artists, and then India with 75, Indonesia with 70, Brazil with 48 and Russia with 30.
The organizers have not released an exact date for the closing day and awards ceremony yet. Iran’s Health Minister is expected to attend the closing ceremony which will go online.