The Press Freedom Sculpture
The Press Freedom Sculpture is being awarded as a token of respect, a sign of recognition for the work done, and as an inspiration to continue this fight that the country, and journalism in general, need.
How it started
The assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia confirmed that she was telling the truth and that she had and was pursuing investigations no one else dared to touch.
She was fighting this all on her own, a lone journalist armed with only a pen.
Unfortunately, she had to pay with her life for us to realise that we are surrounded by Crooks and that the country had hit rock bottom. Her assassination was a shock to a lot of us.
But it was also a wake-up call.
Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination prompted the birth of several organisations, groups and journalists, all inspired by her to continue her work – her determination to uncover the truth and fight corruption.
I was also inspired by her, but I am not a journalist, public speaker or anything of the sort – my intention is just to encourage those who have the guts to fight criminality.
”Courage in the face of adversity – never falter, never stop fighting’’
The significance and message of the Press Freedom Sculpture is to never give up against adversity and keep on fighting. This is reflected in the message shown on the bottom of the sculpture “If you break our pencil, we will sharpen all pieces and come back… Stronger! – 16.10.2017”.
The message is portrayed by the fist holding a broken pencil. The hand is made up of driftwood which would not be fine or expensive wood, to show that people do not need to be high-class to be active citizens or journalists.
The hand is not polished but has a rough texture – characterizing the tough character of the persons choosing to fight such a battle.
The base reflects the blood that was shed – this wood here is finer showing that, even though such deserving persons show a tough and strong character, the bloodshed reveals the strong and pure foundations, the integrity and honesty of the person.
The bay leaf: in ancient Greece and Rome, the bay laurel tree was considered to be a symbol of honour. In Greek mythology, Apollo wore a crown made of bay branches in honour of his love for Daphne.
The bay leaf in this sculpture thus represents our Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was revealing the truth through her blog, with the ripple representing the dissemination of information
The original version of the Press Freedom Sculpture is being permanently exhibited in the Press Room of the European Parliament in Brussels, having been donated to the former President of the EU, Antonio Tajani, in May 2018, thanks to the help of Dr Roberta Metsola and her team.
The first replica was donated to the Times of Malta on the first anniversary of the assassination, 16th October 2018. On the second anniversary, another replica was donated to The Malta Independent. The third replica was donated to The Shift News and Ms Caroline Muscat and the fourth replica is being donated to Repubblika.
Recipient for 2021
This has been an extraordinary year for Repubblika. Their members, even more than usual, have shown uncommon courage and determination in the face of threats and risks; despite COVID measures, their work has been unceasing and relentless. Despite threats, they have risen to the challenge and made themselves a beacon of light and hope in the face of adversity.
May those who look at it be inspired to be as courageous as Daphne Caruana Galizia was, and to continue the fight to uncover the truth that she paid the ultimate price for.