Juukan Gorge Cartoon Finalist David Pope

Media Awards: Meet the 2021 Cartoon Finalists

The Amnesty International Australia Media Awards recognise the important work of media professionals operating in Australia to expose human rights abuses around the world.

With the impending announcement of this year’s winners on the 18th November – meet the finalists in the Cartoon category and their entries to this years’ awards. In no particular order:

‘“They Don’t Understand the Fear We Have”, Badiucao, Human Rights Watch

“They Don’t Understand the Fear We Have”, Badiucao, Human Rights Watch

Badiucao is a Chinese Australian political cartoonist, artist and rights activist. He is regarded as one of China’s most prolific and well-known political cartoonists. He confronts head on a variety of social and political issues in his work. He was awarded as The 2020 Havel laureates of Human Rights Foundation and CRNI’S Courage In Cartoonist Award 2019. He and his family have been harassed and threatened by Chinese authorities after his Hong Kong exhibition “Gongle” in 2018.

The judges’ comments:

“Badiucao employs a powerful visual style combined with the insight of lived experience and deep knowledge of the subject matter to create a piece of animated work which highlights the predicament of those who speak out against the interference of the CCP in Australian universities. His use of symbolic colour amplifies the effect – the red of China and the red of life and death consequences for dissidents. He “brings us in” to the predicament of a group we in mainstream Australia often perceive as outsiders, and evokes our empathy.”

‘Juukan Gorge’, David Pope, The Canberra Times

Juukan Gorge, David Pope, The Canberra Times

David Pope lives in Canberra and draws cartoons for The Canberra Times and Australian Community Media.

The judges’ comments:

“This is such a powerful cartoon, and such a brilliant and apt comparison between two enormously significant cultural icons. While in a sense, these are “things”, not people, being destroyed, either by the Islamist extremist Taliban, or the economic rationalist “extremist” miners (here is the most devastating comparison!), they address the profound issue of cultural destruction, which is as effective a way of oppressing and damaging a people for generations, as removing their children or forbidding their language. As ever, David’s drawing style is accessible, appealing and faultless.”

‘Barred from Coming Home’, Jessica Harwood

Barred From Coming Home, Jessica Harwood

Jessica is an artist and campaigner living on Gadigal land in Sydney. Initially training as a lawyer, Jessica went on to work in the conservation sector and on climate change campaigns, maintaining a freelance illustration and art practice on a part time basis. Her work has been featured on the BBC and ABC, by social movements, charities and businesses. As a communications professional and campaigner, Jessica believes art can change the world for the better. She specialises in turning complex messages into artworks, infographics and ‘info-toons’ to drive people to action, but also enjoys making people snort-giggle with silly cartoons.

The judge’s comments:

“This was a shocking moment in Australia’s recent policy-making, and Jessica captures the essence of what was outrageous, unacceptable and hypocritical about it. Focusing on the Prime Minister’s particular schtick of talking about curry to show his multicultural credibility, it exposes the hollowness of this pretence, and the insensitivity of singling out one group when the impression if not the fact would be that it was a racist policy. Jessica’s anger in this case is well-directed and backed up with a solid case and some pointed wit.”

Thanks to this years’ Cartoon judges

  • Cathy Wilcox, The Sydney Morning Herald
  • Fiona Katauskas, Freelance/Eureka Street
  • Jon Kudelka, The Saturday Paper

Follow the Media Awards

Winners of this years’ Media Awards will be announced in an online ceremony on the 18th November. To find out more about the Awards you can follow the coverage on our social channels, or follow updates on our website.