Freedom of Expression in the Arts and Media

Annamari Laaksonen, Sydney

Freedom of Expression in Peril – Lessons from History

Human beings differ from other species for their capacity of spoken and written expression. A distinctive feature of the human nature is the urge to express feelings and ideas, including in artistic forms. The word ‘freedom’ derives from the Old-English word freodom, but is also found in other old languages, e.g. as fridom (Old Frisian), vrijdom (Dutch) or vridom (German); it signifies power of self-determination; state of free will; emancipation from slavery. Its meaning related to civil liberty dates from late 14th century. The equivalent word ‘liberty’ meaning free choice, also dates to 14th century (Old French) and ...

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