Updated: Jan 8, 2021
It is said that Moomin creator Tove Jansson and her brother - the cartoonist Lars Jansson, who took on the Moomin comic strip in order to alleviate some of the burdens on his sister’s time - began working with a local branch of Amnesty International during the 1980s. During this period, the group was facing criticism from a number of foreign governments, including the USSR which accused it of conducting espionage. The Janssons were allegedly drawn to Amnesty’s ongoing campaigns against torture and on behalf of prisoners of conscience, collaborating with the group to produce this one-off poster of popular characters including Moomintroll, Moominmamma and Moominpappa locked behind bars.
I've never been able to find a copy of the Tove and Lars Amnesty International poster to hang on our wall, but we have a different poster, made by Tove in support of the Keep Sweden Tidy Foundation hanging in our front hall. It's the first thing you see when you come in, and a good reminder the best illustrations have real and genuine meaning behind them.
Poster for Amnesty International by Tove and Lars Jansson (1980s)