Wandering Wives – After The Paris Attacks

Author: , December 5th, 2015

Republique memorial

On Friday the 13th November 2015 Paris was subjected to a vicious terrorist attack which killed 130 people. Less than three weeks after the Paris attacks we visited the city of love and witnessed a city wide outpouring of grief.

We took a walk along Boulevard Voltaire and saw flowers and candles covering the ground where some of the attacks took place. A large memorial site has been claimed across the road from the Bataclan Theatre, which is still an active crime scene. Poignantly, Eagles of Death Metal, (the name of the band playing that night) remains unchanged on the sign outside the building. Since the 1970’s the venue has been the home of live rock music in the French capital. Under the roof of the Bataclan, generations of Parisians danced a youthful, lusty rebellion to their own era defining tunes. Once synonymous with youth, joy and pleasure, the Bataclan will be remembered very differently from now on.

The place de la republique has become a focal area for the collective grief of a city standing strong against terrorism. Messages and memorials from around the world sit at the feet of the bronze statue of Marrianne, the symbolic personification of the triumph of the French republic. We witnessed many people in the area lighting candles, laying floral tributes and leaving messages. Most of the notes offer support and friendship, some express horror, question why or urge unity. But above all the most overwhelming message is that of Love.

In the days after the attacks the world pledged its support to France. Citizens from nations across the globe joined together in memorial services and expressed their shock at what had happened in Paris. People who felt powerless to do anything physical pledged their support via the internet, using hashtags like #prayforparis or adding a tricolour to their facebook photos. People needed to feel they were doing something and show that they were not going to take the attacks lying down. The hashtag #sprayforparis led to street artists picking up their paint cans and offering messages of support from around the world. At the place de la republique the street art is evolving on a daily basis with messages of support being covered over as quickly as they appear…continued with pictures on Wandering Wives

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