Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Four Years of Revolution, sorry, I mean of Willis


In light of the tragedy last Wednesday I saw some commentaries on a cartooning video questioning the need to speak so freely all the time. The commentaries were in a Danish context and I could not help thinking if we in the Danish debate at least have been too focused on stressing the right to speak freely - and we are in a context in which the word is already free and a matter of staying so - while forgetting to actually talk about cartooning. 

We have been looking at the form rather than the content.

But nothing is easier to change that course. Speaking up is a right or a demand, depending on where we are, exercised each and every day by the cartoonists. I am humbled when I look around on this blog alone and see their courage. They have been imprisoned, tortured, injured and exiled and they keep on drawing. What happened to their colleagues at Charlie Hebdo will only make them all the more determined.

And this is the very evening in which Willis entered Facebook for the very first time four years ago, testing whether he was allowed to do so and when he might be cut off by the authorities. It turned out to be the eve of the Arab Spring and we would and could not have been without Willis. The past week alone we could not have done without him at all

Congratulations, Willis, and may your wish come true!




Nadia Khiari, WillisFromTunis, January 13, 2014.
- What is your wish for your birthday?
- a revolution.
Note the absence of an exclamation mark in lieu of the determined full stop.
In fact Willis is all square and edgy of determination.


The cartoon shown is courtesy of Nadia Khiari.


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