Academic journal article New Zealand International Review

A 'Conversation' between Tom Scott and Plantu

Academic journal article New Zealand International Review

A 'Conversation' between Tom Scott and Plantu

Article excerpt

The French political cartoonist, Jean Plantereux, better known as Plantu, visited New Zealand during July 2007. On 2 July in Wellington he teamed up with well known New Zealand cartoonist Tom Scott at a function jointly hosted by the NZIIA and the Alliance Francaise. It proved a stimulating and entertaining evening, much appreciated and enjoyed by 265 people.

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The broad focus of the evening was 'How far can political caricature go in Europe and New Zealand?' How much scope is there in the two societies for creativity and expression? In exploring that theme, the two cartoonists made ample and effective use of twin screens to illustrate with graphic sketches the points they were making to the delight of an enraptured audience. Some of their attention was on contemporary politics and issues; some went back to incidents in the recent past. In Plantu's case, a series of cartoons depicting events and culpability surrounding the 1985 sinking in Auckland harbour of the Rainbow Warrior resonated particularly well with the Wellington audience.

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The evening was a skilful display of the power of the pen at work; of the flair that the best political cartoonists have to identify policy flaws, expose bias and deflate over-pulsating egos--and to be able to do so with precision, panache and punch, to dissect a political argument without being destructive and to cut to the core of an issue without being cruel. …

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