Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy
19 June 2024

Draw for Change

A discussion with cartoonist Rachita Taneja followed a film screening on her work. 

The Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy and the GISA Human Rights, Conflict & Peace initiative, in collaboration with the Freedom Cartoonists Foundation, hosted a screening of the documentary Draw for Change! about the work of Indian cartoonist Rachita Taneja on 3 May, in the lead-up to the Indian elections that took place at the end of that month.

Rachita Taneja launched her webcomic Sanitary Panels in 2014: taking a distinct feminist angle, she has been telling short stories on social justice topics ranging from discrimination to menstruation and democracy. The contempt proceedings initiated against her in 2020 were widely criticised and seen as an attack on her right to freedom of speech and expression and, by extension, an attack on artists and activists.

In opening remarks, Laura Bullon-Cassis, Postdoctoral Researcher, Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy, highlighted the occasion of World Press Freedom Day and the broader programme of activities AHCD is organising around key elections in 2024, including the Who is Voting in 2024? podcast. Cristina Shah, Co-President of the GISA Human Rights, Conflict and Peace Initiative, highlighted several strands of GISA’s work. Filippo Gander, Freedom Cartoonists Foundation, said Taneja was a laureate of the Kofi Annan Courage in Cartooning Awards in 2024, which would be awarded that evening. Hanne Phlypo, film producer, explained the process of developing the film.

The screening was followed by a discussion with Rachita Taneja.