How did life change for political cartoonists in 2020? On the one (cramped) hand, not much for a generally solitary, work-from-home occupation. On the other, there was so much news – mostly grim – that they were never in danger of running out of material to satirise.This content was published on December 28, 2020 - 17:00
- Deutsch Das Jahr 2020 in Cartoons
- Português 2020 – um ano solitário mas criativo para os cartunistas suíços
- 中文 2020–瑞士漫画家的孤寂之年，却是一个黄金之年
- Français Une année solitaire, mais frénétique pour les caricaturistes suisses
- عربي 2020 بريشة رسامي الكاريكاتير السويسريين
- Italiano 2020: un anno solitario ma d'oro per i vignettisti svizzeri
Although Covid-19 was first detected in China last year, it took a few weeks to hit Western radars. SWI swissinfo.ch’s first article appeared on January 22 – and the issue has dominated our multimedia coverage ever since.
Swiss cartoonists and caricaturists also quickly rose to the challenge of coronavirus, which turned out to be an ideal subject. There was the perceived incompetence of figures of authority, popular confusion and anger over masks and later vaccinations, and the humorous potential of enforced changes in social behaviour, such as quarantine. It helped that strong visual symbols existed in facemasks and syringes.
Artists took different approaches to Covid-19 – and indeed other major topics, notably Donald Trump. While some used highbrow cultural references or (less common in Switzerland) barbed criticism to almost shock readers, others aimed for the laughs, lowering people’s guard for the emotional punch.