Moral barometer

Greek author Evgenios Trivizas once said that it is within imagination that the most daring journeys begin.

As the main ingredient of any idea, imagination is then primordial to manifest the realms of our thoughts; one could say that it is the impetus of expression.

Earlier in the week, I was coincidentally reminded of Trivizas and his approach to storytelling.

Perhaps one of the most compelling elements of his work is his capacity to convey his limitless imagination to readers, only to propel one to build in it even further.

The past couple of weeks have also seen me contemplate the notion of freedom of expression. Mostly, I’ve been trying to come up with a concrete answer to the following: “Where is the limit to freedom of expression?”

And I somehow have the urge to place imagination as a barometer within my answer, perhaps because precisely, if imagination instigates the beginning of the most daring journeys, freedom of expression equally shares the responsibility of embarking on any journey.

The recent visit of Plantu (a renowned French cartoonist) to the island placed immense importance on educating people to truly understand images in an attempt to put an end to the intolerance of freedom of expression.

Eventually I was convinced that being impertinent is just another means of conveying one’s imagination.

In essence, there is no valid barometer that can be used to define any limit to freedom of expression.

Think about it: is there really such a thing as a moral imagination?

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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