A conference was held last night at the French Institute in Tel Aviv, the third part in a cycle of events commemorating the first anniversary of the attacks against Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher last January in Paris. The theme was ‘the history and functions of caricature and laughter’: two presentations on historical perspectives were given (one by myself on the 18th century) and the other by Jean-Claude Gardes, (Director of ERIS & Professor at the Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences at the University of Brest). He spoke about the evolution of caricature in Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries. Arie Sover, Professor at Ashkelon and Israeli Society of Humour Studies gave a paper on the cognitive processes and mechanisms that underpin the joke then Guillaume Doizy, author of several books on caricature and the founder of an influential website dedicated to satire and caricature called www.caricaturesetcaricature.com talked about some of the specific historical and national practices and whether or not they can be connected. The evening concluded with an open debate moderated by Assaf Gamzou from the Israeli Museum of Caricature and Comics and a late dinner at the Closerie Restaurant on Rothschild Boulevard.
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