City of Asylum Pittsburgh and Ithaca City of Asylum (ICOA) in Ithaca, NY, present “Crossing the Line,” a virtual (and highly visual) conversation about cartooning, humor, free expression, and personal risk.
Guests are ICOA artist-in-residence Pedro X. Molina of Nicaragua and nationally syndicated editorial cartoonist Rob Rogers of Pittsburgh. Both Pedro and Rob have paid a steep price for their work. Pedro was forced to flee Nicaragua with his family in December 2018 during a crackdown on dissent. Rob was fired by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that same year for his cartoons critical of Donald Trump. They will discuss their experiences and compare cartoons before taking audience questions. The event is organized by Ithaca City of Asylum in recognition of Banned Books Week.
Pedro X. Molina is an internationally acclaimed political cartoonist, illustrator, and journalist from Nicaragua. He fled in 2018 after the offices of the media outlet Confidencial were taken over by government forces and he received numerous death threats. He is winner of the Maria Moors Cabot Award from Columbia Journalism School, the Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award from Cartoonists Rights Network International, and the Excellence in Journalism award from the Inter American Press Association. He is currently artist-in-residence with Ithaca City of Asylum and a Visiting International Scholar in Residence at Ithaca College.
Rob Rogers is a nationally syndicated editorial cartoonist and a two time Pulitzer finalist. In June of 2018, after 25 years on staff at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Rogers was fired for drawing cartoons critical of President Trump. In his most recent book, Enemy of the People: A Cartoonist’s Journey, Rogers writes about the importance of satire in today’s political climate. Rogers has curated national cartoon exhibitions at the Andy Warhol Museum, American University, and the ToonSeum in Pittsburgh, where he was board president from 2007 to 2017. He continues to draw for syndication and was named a 2019 Emerson Fellow by the Emerson Collective.
“Crossing the Line” is cosponsored by the International Cities of Refuge Network, PEN America’s Artists at Risk Connection, and Group 73 of Amnesty International. It is made possible by funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County.