DigiMe Photography Award

DigiMe Photography Award, December 2013

A photograph by The Cyprus Weekly’s Melissa Hekkers of an anti-bullying event at a Nicosia school is one of three winners of a photo competition organised by the Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC) with the support of the European Commission Representation in Cyprus.

Working under the title “We Participate!” the theme for this year’s DigiMe photography competition aimed to highlight the importance of active citizenship in a time of transition in Cyprus and the EU as a whole.

The competition has been held annually since 2011.

The three winners were chosen from more than 150 entries from across Europe. Awards were given to Caghan Emirzadeoglulari for his photo “Rainbow Journey Towards Peace”, Melissa Hekkers for her photo “Junior & Senior School Children in Nicosia fight against bullying” and Christos Skordis with his photo “People: A volcano ready to erupt taken outside the 1st Cyprus Aid concert (April 1,2013). People came together for the people. Was it just another concert or maybe a big idea?”
“With the European Year of Citizens 2013 coming to an end, the competition intended to document those instances where people have contributed to our society, and encourage each and every one of us to keep on,” said the organisers.

Winning entries were judged on whether they could demonstrate positive instances of active citizenship in Cyprus, their photographic appeal and the attention drawn to them through online social networks.

DigiMe Photography Award, December 2013

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About Melissa Hekkers

I am freelance journalist and author, who has frequently been featured in mainstream news outlets and other publications in Cyprus. Recently, I've been focusing on developing my writing, promoting my own books and teaching creative writing to children and adults. My most recent publication (2020) - Amir's Blue Elephant- pushes the boundaries of creative non-fiction, and recreates the moments that marked me the most, whilst volunteering in refugee camps in Lesvos, Greece, and during her ongoing involvement with the refugee community in Cyprus. In 2018 I published My Capre Greco Mandala which is the third in a series, an interactive colouring book about the biodiversity of the Cape Greco peninsula in Cyprus. My Akamas Mandala, the second in the series, is a colouring book inspired by the variety of endemic plants found on the Akamas Peninsula. In 2016, I published My Nicosia Mandala, the first of the above series, an innovative, interactive colouring book about the historic fortifications of the old town of Nicosia. I also focuses on silenced communities in Cyprus: I writes about migrants and refugees, both as a reporter and a features writer; I profile them and teach them creative writing skills. In 2007, soon after graduating with a Communications degree, I published my first children’s book in both English and Greek entitled Crocodile, which won the Cyprus State Illustration Award. In 2012, I launched my second children’s book Flying across Red Skies (in English and Greek), using an experimental approach to literature, for which I was nominated for the Cyprus State Literary award. My third, similarly well-received children’s book was Pupa (Greek and English), published in 2014. In between the last two books, I published my first free-verse poetry book entitled Come-forth. In 2019 she was contributing author to the anthology Nicosia Beyond Barriers: Voices from a Divided City, published by Saqi Books, London