As everyone has returned to the hard slog of work and the January sales started to draw to an end, it is clear that Christmas is well and truly over but already the year has been marred with the unfortunate events that have occurred in Paris. Photos and videos of what occurred is now scarring the web and yet the wonders of human compassion with so many showing their support of the targeted magazine. To many, the new year is a time of hope and here we have an act of terrorism against freedom of speech and defenseless policemen.
While I would have preferred to write about much happier things, I only wish to add my voice to the growing numbers of Je Suis Charlie. Now people across the world are showing their support for freedom of speech, the write to draw and talk as they please, but we must also not forget the others effected. The policemen who were also killed, those still battling with to live and the families left behind by those that we lost.
As someone who has adored drawing from a young age, I adore the political drawings of mockery that grace the web and newspapers. I myself watch the regular comical jokes from the Daily Show, Mock the Week, Have I got news for you and South Park mocking the world we live in today. So now there are those that wish to silence the ability to talk and joke because of being offended.
Here they have attacked a man, Stephane Charbonnier, who has through the years constantly stood up for the right of freedom of speech and others he worked with. The weekly french magazine Charlie Habdo has for years mocked all aspects of faith, politics and world events, using humour to cut to the point of complicated issues and matters facing people in France and the world today.
Now the images of what took place is being replaced with defiance from people around the world – cartoonists, journalists and artists leading the way. Twitter is full of drawings showing the world “we will not be silenced” or how terrorism will only make their voice stronger. More and more are being added as now famous and even amature cartoonists put pen to paper that it is hard now to keep up with all of them. Yet all that currently remains of the Charlie Habdo website is the now famous phase ‘Je suis Charlie’ and still #jesuischarlie is trending on Twitter.
I hope, as I know many others, that similar to when their offices were petrol bombed in 2011, Charlie Habdo shows that these sort of attacks will not silence them nor stop people the ability to have freedom of speech in France. With support from the drawing world around them, my biggest hope is that this won’t deter them from drawing but drive them on.
As the police race to track and find the people behind this, all that is clear is the impact that this has had in the hearts and minds of people around the world. We still don’t know why this attack happened but I know one thing – ‘je suis charlie’!