“Is this the moment for more freedom?” RNW’s Arabic Department, Cartoon Movement and media partners in the Arab region posted this question on social media sites during the first week of 360 Degrees, a new project designed to look at the world from different perspectives. People were invited to tweet their views using a common hashtag: #360D. Cartoonists drew cartoons based on the tweets.
The freedom theme was particularly relevant to the current situation in Egypt, where supporters and opponents of President Mohammed Morsi are engaging in daily protests and discussions about the new constitution and the division of powers in the country.
The best two cartoons, selected by Cartoon Movement, were based on Egyptian tweets. “President Morsi announces that the judges are corrupt, takes action against them, and then asks them to supervise the referendum,” tweeted @Mooodyro. It inspired Egyptian cartoonist Amr Okasha to draw a 'factory of pharaohs'.
Nicaraguan cartoonist Pedro X. Molina drew the Egyptian president with a beard consisting of protesting people, based on a tweet by @sae3dali: “Morsi don’t forget that it was the people who brought down Mubarak. They voted for you. They will bring you down if they want to.”
"Nothing's called excessive freedom"
However, the Twitter discussion about freedom went beyond Egypt. “Excessive freedom is a double-edged sword,” wrote @Msimman. “It can improve societies capable of absorbing it and destroy others that don’t have a tradition of freedom. So watch out.” The tweet outraged some other readers. “Nothing's called excessive freedom,” reacted @EmadPax immediately. “Slaves living in dictatorships only say that because they were raised to believe that liberation from authoritarianism is perversion.”
He then asked RNW: “So are you going to translate and retweet me now as well, as you did with the other one?” And yes, RNW retweeted him, and @EmadPax's tweet even inspired two other Cartoon Movement cartoonists.
Look at yourself!
An overview of all the cartoons inspired by #360D tweets can be found in Cartoon Movement's 360 Degrees newsroom.
This week's theme is: “Look at yourself! How we see each other: stereotypes from East to West.” Thoughts can be shared on Twitter in English or Arabic, using hashtag #360D.