"Plastic in the drinking water"

Niels Bo Bojesen is a Danish cartoonist and children's book illustrator. He is a cartoonist for Jyllands-Posten. In 2020 his notability rose when one of his cartoons about the coronavirus caused a diplomatic incident with the Chinese embassy in Copenhagen.

Life and career
Niels Bo Bojesen was born in 1958 in Birkerød as the son of cartoonist Bo Bojesen (1923-2006). He enjoyed to draw from a young age and already made cartoons about news reports concerning "wars and weddings", as he explained in a 2015 interview with forfatterweb.dk. Among his main creative influences are his own father, Bob Dylan and Ronald Searle. In 1984, Bojesen studied at the Danish School of Design and two years later he attended the Department of Media Arts at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

In 1987, Bojesen debuted as illustrator of the picture book 'Kattenatten' by Hanne Brandt. He is the regular illustrator of Kim Fupz Aakeson's children's book series 'Vitello' (Pushkin Children's Books, 2008- ) and Trine Bundsgaard's series 'Luna Linea'. In 2018 Vitello was adapted into an animated TV series. His cartoons are syndicated by the New York Times Syndicate, CartoonArts International, Cartoon Movement, United Sketches and Cagle Cartoons/ Political Cartoons.

On 28 January 2020, the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published a cartoon by Bojesen about the outbreak of the coronavirus in China. It depicted the Chinese flag with its yellow stars replaced by virus particles. The Chinese embassy in Denmark filed an official complaint and demanded an apology, which both the paper and Bojesen refused, citing their freedom of speech. Chief editor Jacob Nybroe said that the point of the cartoon wasn't ridiculing China and that Bojesen has often deconstructed national flags in his cartoons. They did offer ambassador Feng Tie space in Jyllands-Posten to express why he felt the cartoon was offensive. As the controversy grew, German author and real estate expert Rainer Zitelmann, twittered that Bojesen's cartoon was "insensitive" in a time when people were afraid and fighting an unknown virus. On 4 February the Association of Chinese Enterprises in Belgium and Luxembourg protested against a similar cartoon by Belgian cartoonist Lectrr.

Other activities
Bojesen is a member of the Danish Association of Journalists, the Danish Association of Editorial Cartoonists and a member of the board of the Museum of Danish Cartoon Art.

Bojesen received the Svarres Legat (2003), the European Newspaper Award for single illustration (2004), the Society of News Design: Best Newspaper Design - Single Illustration (2004), the United Nations/Ranan Luire Political Cartoon Award (2016), the Pentel Prize for Editorial Cartoonist of the Year (2017), the World Press Freedom International Editorial Cartoon (2019), the Golden Aesop Grand Prix of Gabrovo (2019) and the World Humor Award – Award of Excellence (2019). In 2004 he was selected to represent Denmark at the European Union exhibition 'Giants, European Conversation Pieces'. A decade later he won the 'Una Vignetta per L'Europa' competition, organized in 2016 by the European Commission. Also worth mentioning are his third prize at the World Humor Awards (2016) and second prize at the World Press Freedom International Editorial Cartoon Competition (2017). Together with Kim Fupz Aakeson he won the Orla Award (2014) for 'Vitello'.

Cartoon depicting British politician and later Prime Minister Boris Johnson. 

Series and books by Niels Bo Bojesen you can order today:


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