CariToon Kochi , a National Cartoon and caricature festival is a Flagship programme of Kerala Cartoon Academy, and the first of its kind in India. Flagged off in 2016 as a venture in innovation, Academy is all set for the second season of CariToon to be staged in May 04,05,06,07 and 08 as CariToon 2017. The festival will turn the May-hot Kochi into a hotter property as the humour hub of Kerala on those four days under a canopy of comic art forms from Ottamthullal to animated drawing and hilarious skits.
In addition to lectures by cartoonists, caricaturists and animators of national eminence, the Festival also will showcase discussion and open sessions with cartoonists including firebrand leaders of the fourth estate, the visual media and political pundits.
CariToon 2017 will also sincerely take up its own CSR (Cartoonists’ Social Responsibility) exercise throughout the Festival by way of special cartoon/comic joints to espouse the causes of drug-free life, responsible driving, keeping the neighbourhood clean, organic cultivation, prudent dietary habits, contributing to humanitarian causes and sensible education.
Kerala has had cartooning for nearly 100 years (from 1917) and is known for exporting considerable cartooning manpower to the national capital. However, it took a long while for local cartoonists to find a forum to get together. The Kerala Cartoon Academy didn’t happen overnight. The first effort to organize cartoonists happened in 1967. Kutty, Manthri , Shivaram, Thomas and Artist Raghavan Nair formed an association for cartoonists. Though it took off with a great vision, it was short-lived. But the spirit of the movement survived and in 1981 a platform for cartoonists came into existence under the leadership of Shivaram, Thomas, Yesudasan, Toms, Gafoor, Seeri and Nathan among others. That was the Kerala Cartoon Academy. Over the years it has grown to voice the concerns of cartooning nation-wide though its activities are largely confined to Kerala.
The academy has a membership of over 120 professional cartoonists. It is not just an organization by the cartoonists for the cartoonists. It reaches out to the public through cartoon shows and interactive programmes. In the evolving democracy that India is, we feel the probing satirical medium has a special place in the public mind