TM: Could you please review your career as a cartoonist? Do you have a related background, for example, graphic, etc.?
Juan Zero: I was born in Damascus, in 1976. I graduated from the Adham Ismail Institute of Fine Arts, one of Syria’s most important art institutes.
TM: What was your first drawing, do you remember it?
Juan Zero: As I recall, my first drawing when I was nine years old was about the Palestinian uprising, embodied in a tree which had roots as activist’s parents and children were the branches of the uprising…
TM: How long do you live in Turkey? Did you come directly to Istanbul? How do you earn your life here?
Juan Zero: I came directly to Turkey from Syria from 4 years, and now I stay here as all the other Syrian immigrants, we are not refugees here, everyone is responsible for himself without any direct aid, but some kind of help that is not under any law that protects Syrians. For my living, I work for Syrian newspapers and news sites.
TM: Could you please evaluate the other works, what are your feelings on the exhibition?
Juan Zero: I didn’t see all the graphics, just some of them. I know there are so many artists participating in the exhibition; some of them are well-known names. For me, any exhibition call for peace will be a success and for sure varied and interesting.
TM: How do cartoons may help people gain awareness on peace?
Juan Zero: Likeable art to everyone, especially the art of caricature… Because it remains close to the common people who are the essential component of and constitutes the most of all communities… These ideas permeate into his mind and personality if it does not have a resonance immediately… It will have a good effect in the future of Syria, or this is what I hope.
Interviewed by Aslı Delikara, Caricature Exhibition Coordinator, Turkey