Calling all cartoonists! What does #ShiftThePower look like to you?

22 Feb 2021


Do you want to #ShiftThePower with your talent? We are currently seeking cartoonists to create a series of cartoons/comics under the theme of “shifting power”!

It was back in 2016 that we first introduced the hash-tag #ShiftThePower. Our plan was very practical: we wanted to promote a conference that we were organizing in Johannesburg in December of that year. Since then, #ShiftThePower has become the rallying cry for multiple conversations around people, power and resources, and is now a broad movement of individuals and organizations tired of the status quo who are working towards a more equitable system of international development.

Too often, external donors are preoccupied with addressing their own institutional priorities, overlooking what local people consider to be important and, at the same time, ignoring existing capacities and strengths that already exist with in communities. Over time, this exclusion of people from decision-making processes contributes to a sense of helpless and dependency, as communities “wait” for external resources to achieve a vision of “development” that they had never themselves chosen.

But around the world, new ways of “deciding and doing” are emerging: people are testing new ideas, organizing in new ways, and mobilizing resources and constituencies through new and transformed institutional forms. We now need your help in bringing this to life!


The practicalities

We are inviting cartoons that help to visualize #ShiftThePower. These should be original creations and, by submitting your cartoon(s), you acknowledge that the GFCF, and others in the #ShiftThePower movement, have permission to use your work in various digital and print communications. Cartoons should be submitted to Rasha Sansur at the GFCF ( by 31st March 2021. Rasha is also available to answer any questions you might have!


The prize

A group of participants from the Pathways to Power Symposium will review all submissions, and will select one cartoon which most clearly and creatively conveys the theme. The winning cartoonist will receive a $250 USD cash prize, and may be commissioned by the GFCF to produce further work. All entrants will receive a #ShiftThePower Manifesto for Change tea towel by post.


Looking for inspiration?

At the GFCF, we believe in the power of art in telling complex stories in simple ways: cartoonists have been key parts of several GFCF events (as illustrated on this page), and our short animation The Answer is Local (see below) shows how community philanthropy shifts power and resources, and changes the world. A recent report from the West Africa Civil Society Institute entitled Overcoming development aid fatigue, deciding together and shifting power to communities in Africa, we felt, offers numerous concepts which could be effectively “cartooned”, such as:

  • “A CSO based in Ghana also shared its experience of reporting to a German donor, that insisted that if you rent a car during project implementation, the implementing organization must indicate the number of kilometers covered, the number and background of people in the car, why they were selected to be in the car, the cost of fuel and the gallons.”
  • “When you give a ram with a rope around its neck to someone, you should let go of the rope too.”

Where will you draw your inspiration from? We look forward to finding out!


Leave a comment

4 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
4 Comment authors
Sunny efemenaJan DespiegelaereCowry Legends MediaDex Recent comment authors
newest oldest


Cowry Legends Media
Cowry Legends Media

This is an awesome opportunity… Will apply and have already shared on all my professional networks in social media…

Jan Despiegelaere
Jan Despiegelaere

Love this initiative and fingers crossed it also may bring some humour in community philantropy communication!

Sunny efemena
Sunny efemena

I am really interested in this.