Cape Town ~ South Africa
Zapiro, alias Jonathan Shapiro (South Africa, 1958) The Principal Prince Claus Award for 2005 is presented to Zapiro, alias Jonathan Shapiro, an outstanding cartoonist whose incisive satire digs into contemporary African and international realities. With striking graphic detail and perfectly pitched text, Zapiro’s sharp insights expose absurdities and paradoxes, and highlight social and political issues. He began working with anti-apartheid groups and publishing cartoons during the 1980s and since then his work has appeared on a daily basis in leading South African newspapers, in community and activist publications of human rights and social welfare organisations, as well as in the international media. He has published nine books of cartoons and numerous educational comics, participates in exhibitions and cartoon events, and mentors young cartoonists. In the midst of the social, racial and economic tensions that characterise southern Africa and the current global situation, Zapiro provides comic relief, a space for self-reflection, criticism of abusive power, challenges to dogma, and perhaps most importantly, hope for humanity. The Principal Prince Claus Award is presented to Zapiro, a modern African descendent of the legendary jester who speaks truth to power and punctures arrogance with laughter, in recognition of his role in stimulating social and cultural development.