Dear Peter,Sorry for your disappointment..I would like to point out some issues that, I have a feeling, you are not aware of,... even with this explanation I'm putting myself in a position to justify ourselves affront of you, and this is hurting my dignity a bit..As you probably know, OSTEN is a recognizable brand in the area of art, emancipated thought and liberated creation since 1945, which through the World Gallery of Cartoons and the World Gallery of Drawing makes room for the cartoonists and artists of the world.The World Gallery of Cartoons is the one and only event of such provenance in Macedonia, the oldest on the Europe and one of the most long-standing in the world. It was established back in 1969 by the newsroom of the magazine Osten, making artistic forms like cartoon, satiric drawing and comic strips available to the wide world audience. The World Gallery of Cartoons through time has experienced different fortune – from being completely supported by the community and institutions, to (in the period of the political transition) inability to held an annual edition. The reappearance of the World Gallery of Cartoons from 2009 on, was marked by personal engagement and enthusiasm by us - who refused to agree to its elimination and hence managed to sustain it at the pleasure of the community – domestic and international.
In addition, The Association of the Cartoonists of Macedonia was the among the first established associations of cartoonists in the world (10th March 1980) ! Ane Vasilev, Dimitar Cudo, and other Macedonian and international cartoonists (as Ronald Libin, Mostafa Ramezani...) ... together with Mice Jankulovski (the owner, the only financier and Director of OSTEN, who is right now also the President of the Association of the Cartoonists in Macedonia) - were the first initiators for the establishing FECO in Ohrid, Macedonia back in '80 (XV WGC 1983 / XVI WGC 1984). I'm mentioning this, because I would like to emphasize the place of OSTEN and Macedonian Cartoonists in the foundation of FECO! The part of this information is stated in the 'History of FECO' on the FECO's web site!
But, now - you are WARNING our friends cartoonist to be careful to participate on the 46th WORLD GALLERY OF CARTOONS Skopje 2015 ?!?!
From the beginning of the World Gallery of Cartoons, received cartoons were not returning! That propositions were made 46 years ago, but aware of the contemporary conditions for copy rights and other issues, we made changes in the rules for participation, and we give to the cartoonists option to get their works back. Unfortunately, we don't have a budget for returning the cartoons. More over, Macedonia is not sharing regular international postal services, so we cannot even arrange a post shipment on the expenses of the receiver, we have to pay for the postal services on the spot! - so we have to ask for a certain amount of money for those who want their works back. We are not happy with that, but that is the situation...After all, the rules for participation are clear, and every cartoonist can make his own decision weather he will participate on the WGC or not. No hard fillings for those who don't accept the rules, and who will decide not to participate - but, I think there is no need for WARNING on their participation as well. World Gallery of Cartoons is existing for 46 years!, and we plan to be significant factor in the world of cartoons for many years more.. so, dear Peter, before been that judgmental on us, please consider the circumstances of the present time and place we are living and working at. We don't want to complain, we prefer to fight the struggles and to built better future for all of us! The easiest way is to give up and to close the event - but THAT WOULD BE SHAME! We feel obligated to the long list of cartoonists (Macedonian and international) who have significant role in the development of the World Gallery of Cartoons, international cartoon art in general and, if you want FECO itself!
At least, I would expect from you, parallel with your criticism, to POINT ON the positive conditions for ALL PARTICIPANTS on the WGC - Index of (all) participants in the catalog, Plaques (for everyone), exclusive catalog, (ex. 38th WGC 2010), awards, the TRADITION and RENOME of the event, etc... As from our experience, cartoonists from all over the world are happy with the propositions ( see the RULES for participation ) and they are participating in a huge number every year! We know they give us credit and support by sending their hand-drawn, original works, since they know: following the principle for fostering and preserving the art on paper - we are taking care of them and NOTHING is for commercial purposes. We are having plans for further development of OSTEN and WGC: we are working on the establishing online platform for cartoonists, on the establishing of OSTEN Museum of Cartoons, and other activities that will contribute to the sustainability of OSTEN and to the benefit of all our friends cartoonists.
We also appreciate your concern for the cartoonists, but please understand that we are not the ones who misuse the contest for our own benefit. OSTEN, World Gallery of Cartoons and our friends cartoonists are too important for us to do that! It is a long track run.. isn't it? And we all should be winners!
We are counting on your (and all other cartoonists) understanding. Probably the best way to avoid this kind of misunderstanding is a good, old-fashion, friendly, personal conversation (instead of this kind of long e-mails) - so we should certainly do that!