The European Cartoon Award announces its 2023 winners

Published on September, 14 2023

Live from the Beeld & Geluid museum in The Hague, the European Press Prize and Studio Europa Maastricht, founders of the European Cartoon Award, proudly announced the name of the Winner and Runners-up of this year’s edition of the contest.

The first prize was awarded to the UK-based cartoonist Ben Jennings, for his work published in The Economist. The two Runners-up are cartoonists Harry Burton (Ireland) and Patrick Chappatte (Switzerland). Honourable Mentions were awarded to Tjeerd Royaards (Netherlands) and Víctor Solís (Mexico).

ECA 2023 Winner, by Ben Jennings (published by The Economist)

The Winner and Runners-up

Ben Jennings’ cartoon, published by The Economist, comments on the treatment of migrant workers during the 2022 Qatar World Cup. 

Ben Jennings: “The intention of the cartoon was to depict this injustice in a succinct and impactful way, by having a Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup wooden football table in the shape of a coffin, with the players resembling the workers that perished.”

Together with the other winning works, Ben Jennings’ cartoon was selected from the 16 Nominees (available below), chosen from over 400 submissions coming from more than 29 countries, European and beyond. 

The cartoons of the two runners-up, Harry Burton (published in the Irish outlet Irish Examiner) and Patrick Chappatte (published in the German newspaper Der Spiegel), respectively comment on the COP27 held in Egypt in 2022 and the invasion of Ukraine. 

ECA 2023 Runner-up, by Harry Burton (published by Irish Examiner)

ECA 2023 Runner-up, by Patrick Chappatte (published by Der Spiegel)

Emanuele Del Rosso, Deputy Director of the European Cartoon Award: “This year’s winning cartoons deal with universal topics. Workers’ rights, the lack of willingness of the powerful to acknowledge the climate crisis, and of course the Ukraine invasion by the hand of Putin. Especially the winner cartoon, by Ben Jennings, illustrates the condition of the workers that built the World Cup stadiums so strikingly, showing us both their nearness with death and impossibility of escaping the cruel game they are subject to. This image is worth a million words.”

Two Honourable Mentions

The jury decided to award two Honourable Mentions, to Tjeerd Royaards and Víctor Solís, for cartoons published by the Dutch newspaper Trouw and the Spanish environmental journalism platform EFEVerde.

ECA 2023 Honourable Mention, by Tjeerd Royaards (published by Trouw)

ECA 2023 Honourable Mention, by Víctor Solís (published by EFEVerde)

Niels Bo Bojesen, chair of the Panel of Judges: “Both of the jury’s Honourable Mentions bear the hallmarks of quality cartooning: 

Royaards is cunningly presenting us for a seemingly idyllic beach scene, but further investigation reveals the harsh reality of migrants on deadly Mediterranean waves – lives and life vests adrift.  

Solís’ take on poetic creativity grabs us by the heart. The human spirit in the shape of a child, insisting on a better world – against all odds.  A cartoon that speaks to us on a level most cartoons cannot reach.”

Announced during the ECA first ‘Cartoons Day’

The winners of the ECA 2023 were announced during the Award Ceremony held at the Beeld & Geluid museum in The Hague. The Ceremony was part of the first edition of the ECA ‘Cartoons Day’, a one-day event entirely dedicated to editorial cartoons organised with the support of the Municipality of The Hague, the Stimuleringsfonds voor de Journalistiek, the museum Beeld & Geluid and Cartooning for Peace.

Jennifer Athanasiou-Prins, Deputy Director of the European Press Prize: “At the European Press Prize, celebrating, learning and nourishing are at the heart of everything we do. By celebrating the best journalism every year, we map the field of quality journalism – expanding our Community as a result thereof. By creating spaces where our Community can gather to learn from one another, we do our best to nourish that Community by connecting journalists and, in the case of the ECA specifically, cartoonists from Europe and beyond. With the ECA Cartoons Day, we are proud to combine these three pillars that we believe in so strongly: celebrating and connecting cartoonists – creating a space for them where values meet, ideas are shared and discussion is sparked.”

Gonny Willems, Director of Studio Europa Maastricht: “Cartoonists have once again shown their indispensable commitment to freedom of expression. Through images, cartoonists transcend boundaries and hold up a mirror and show us what works and what does not work in our society. Such is the case with Ben Jennings’ winning cartoon. His thought-provoking cartoon about migrant workers’ rights in Qatar immediately invites debate.”

Experts, activists, artists and cartoonists sat together in the rooms of the Beeld & Geluid museum for workshops and panels. 

After the Award Ceremony, an exhibition showcasing the 40 longlisted works of the ECA 2023 was inaugurated in the main hall and entrance of the museum. The exhibition can be visited until December 3, 2023.

The 2023 Panel of judges

The jury for the 2023 edition consisted of: the winner of the European Cartoon Award 2022 Carlos Fuentes, from Cuba, Danish cartoonist Niels Bo Bojesen (Chair), Dutch cartoonist Jip van den Toorn, French journalist Catherine André, and French cartoonist and President of Cartooning for Peace Patrick Lamassoure.

The ECA 2023 Shortlist and Longlist

The jury selected the 16 finalist works from over 400 entries coming from more than 29 countries, European and beyond. Read more about it and see all the cartoons here.