I am Charlie

On 10 January 2015 by From elephants to kangaroos

I wrote an article in October that I had not yet released, for not having yet translated it, about the terror in the media. Today, I took a basis of this text and I changed it – a lot – due to recent events in Paris.

charbJanuary 7, 2015. I get up in Paris after another restless night, as many have been since my return to France. But today it’s decided: I am going to spend a quiet day at my parents, I have nothing to do and no one to see, so I can rest, watch Disney movies in pyjamas drinking hot chocolate. At least, that was the plan. And after calling my sister for a long time, I turn on the TV to watch my film, and arrived on the mid-day information. Which freezed me. There had been an attack at Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine.
It is about 12:30pm, the 1st information only arrive at dropper. I start to watch all the details, to understand what happened. As and when the minutes pass, I discover the atrocity of the event, the number of deaths that increase, names that are displayed. And this drawing that Charb, its editor, published a few minutes before being killed. Awful.

I change the channel seeing the horrific violence of certain images and words. I then put Canal+, the channel that I like for its comic side, fun and limitless. But they are also extremely seriously at the time. The nightmare continues, worsens. My heart breaks. My tears begin to flow.
It continues like this for hours, between television news and social networks that are starting to flare. I read dozens of articles, testimonials. I can not control at that time my condition, I let the tears flow. A friend calls me by Skype from London, I explain to her what is happening, the emotion is very strong. I begin myself to share information, to respond, to explain to some of my foreign friends the situation, ask some people to remove images that should never have been public as they are too violent.

Because for the past few months, our society and the medias have no limits with the images on television, on the internet or in newspapers. It has become normal, common, to show us the violence of a street scene, the beheading of a journalist or live attacks and after dead people. They warn people before that there are violent images that may offend the young audience.” I’m 27, I am not “young people”, yet all these images shock me extremely and are impossible to forget.

Today, I mix a bit of everything in this article not very structured (and I apologize) but that reveals the clutter in my head that this situation has triggered, and that I probably would not have affected similarly a year and a half ago. I just returned from a world tour where I explored some fabulous countries on 4 different continents, I met hundreds of fantastic people. I saw the horror also in front of my eyes with dead people, some very serious wounded, sick people as I had never seen, poverty in its harder state. But these images, these things, I have never spoken on this website about them, I’ve never taken pictures broadcast around me. Because violence is something unbearable for all human beings, whether young people” or not. These images are already hard in my head and I do not want / can not dwell around me. And what we do with our media is pretty much a propaganda for these terrorist groups, which are expanding day by day. We even start to explain on television that it‘s easy to organize a shooting or an attack as if we were told that the weather will be nice tomorrow, with less and less humanity. I am lost.

kissing_hebdoBeyond this media aspect, it’s hard to understand for me that we can now attack my country for one of the fundamentals of our republic. Men, women, policeman and anonymous civilians died because some were trying to make us laugh. And it is inconceivable to me. I saw posters written “shitty world” in the streets or on television since Wednesday. After visiting a part of this world and met the people who live there, although I understand that feeling, I do not want to read that. Because this world is beautiful. Because this world is full of caring, adorable, happy people and that I find very sad to think, because of a minority, that this world is ugly. I agree, unfortunately today this minority makes a lot of noise, a lot of trouble and damage in our societies. But we give them perhaps too much space in our media, we relay too much horror, and I think it gives them the adrenaline and the desire to go further. I think we should stop. Not stop talking about the damage they do, no. We must continue to explain what they do. But we should measure our words, our images. And get up at the place, mobilize against these groups and take action so that gradually it all stops.

Today is day 4 after the attack in Paris. I still haven’t been yet to Republic Square in support of the victims or to the former offices of the newspaper. Because I have not had the courage and I was too upset to take the step. Yet I had often envy. I will walk on Sunday, to show that they have not won. That they will never win. That thhey attack us with arms, we respond by unity, peacefully.

I have not read very often Charlie Hebdo before this event. Today I want to learn much more about this newspaper, want to read some of their old newspapers, buy books with their drawings, want to read the next ones that come out. As I heard on a TV set tonight, terrorists believed they have killed Charlie Hebdo and all its cartoonists, but instead of this, a symbol is killed, it made it a symbol”.

charlie2The image and the phrase relayed since the event is “Je suis Charlie” (I am Charlie). Beyond the name of the magazine, this phrase simply means that we defend our republic and one of our fundamental principles, the freedom of expression, whether through writing, drawing, television and so on. People fought for this right, through such events I realize how fragile all this is that we should never take anything for granted. I am a poor cartoonist but I started this blog several months ago and although I refuse to go into some debates (political or religious) here because it is not the subject of this website, it was important for me to take the pen today, even if this article is awkward and discontinuous.
Ironically, for a year and a half now on the roads of the world, when people asked me what my name was and I told them Charline and saw their heads incredulous, then I told them to call me Charlie, simpler, common and easy. And I always liked that name.
So today more than ever,
Je suis Charlie.
#jesuischarlie #charliehebdo

Here are some articles / videos I saw that I liked – sorry most of them are in French:
Article de Zineb from Charlie Hebdo
Article from Libération
Drawings from several famous cartoonists
Interview pf Patrick Pelloux, few hours after the even
Vincent Lécuyer text on Facebook

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