Joaquín Salvador Lavado - Quino (1932-2020)


The Prince Claus Fund is saddened to hear of the death of Argentinian cartoonist Joaquin Salvador Lavado, alias Quino. One of the most translated Argentinian writers, Quino said he used humour as “the little grain of sand that acts as a catalyst to change.” His cartoons dealt with such issues as human rights, power relationships, environmental degradation and social inequalities.

Quino went into exile in Europe during the period of military dictatorship in Argentina and was subjected to censorship, but remained popular. He is perhaps most famous for his creation of the much beloved cartoon character Mafalda, an ironic and irreverent six year old girl who tries to make sense of the adult world. Although he moved on from Mafalda’s story in the early 70’s, she was often brought back for specific campaigns, acting as a UNICEF spokesperson in 1976 for the Convention on the Rights of the Child and more recently for a Covid-19 awareness campaign. Quino received a Prince Claus Award in 2005 "for his subtle aesthetics and for a lifetime of dedication to human rights through humour." His gentle but pointed humorous voice will be missed.

“Born in 1964 (...) Mafalda went through what has been branded a brilliant decade, anticipating – unbeknown to her or her creator – the explosion of protest in 1968. Hers was not a proletarian and barricade response, but an intellectual and psychological, a dialectical, answer, which covered topics such as the authoritarianism of adults, racism, hunger, population growth and social injustice (...) Quino was the backbone of a social satire that constituted at once a far from frivolous or schematic reflection on the moral and political vulnerability of our society...” Román Gubern.

From the Laudation in the 2005 Prince Claus Awards Book. 

Read Quino's Awards Committee Report and Laudation in the 2005 Awards Book here