A touching image of the iconic Eiffel Tower featuring alongside the peace symbol is uniting thousands amid the sorrow and fear that gripped Paris on Friday night. The incredibly moving image created by french artist Jean Jullien has joined many other telling illustrations that have flooded social media in a matter of hours. The “Peace for Paris” symbol is believed to have generated nearly 50,000 responses according to some reports with hundreds embracing it on social media as a striking symbol of solidarity with the people of Paris.
On Friday night, six terrorist attacks rocked the French capital leaving scores dead and hundreds of thousands of others in a state of absolute shock and debilitating despair. Amid an atmosphere of terror and gloom, the sadness of which defies expression, the symbol has fostered an air of resilience and unity among devastated and anguished citizens of the city.
Prominent London-based French artist Jean Jullien has been using illustrations and other significant creative works to inspire many in an attempt to highlight a host of social and political issues. Not too long ago, his work featured in the aftermath of January’s shootings at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris. He explicitly shared his thoughts regarding the symbol and its profound connection with Friday’s tragic event in an interview with Time.
“I express myself visually, so my first reaction was to draw a symbol of peace for Paris. This is the first thing I drew. I can’t think of anything else to say. I can’t say I’m happy because it’s such a tragedy and such a horrible event. I can just say that in all this horror there’s something positive that people are coming together in a sense of unity and peace. I got someone emailing me saying they were happy to have seen my message because the feeling of peace and unity took over the raw anger that can come from such an event.”
Paris is legendarily acknowledged as the “City of Love” for a number of reasons, including its breathtaking setting, the splendid lure of its native language and its possibly unrivaled standing as one of the most romantic honeymoon destinations on the planet. Its proud inhabitants are equally defiant and resilient. On Friday, residents voluntarily offered their homes as safe havens for many outsiders caught in the chaos and panic triggered in the aftermath of the attacks, and countless others struggling to make their way to their desired destinations.
Friday’s coordinated strikes on a cafe, concert hall, and stadium were subsequently claimed by radical Islamist group ISIS, allegedly in response to the relentless pounding of the latter’s stronghold in Iraq by western allied forces. The incident prompted French President Francois Hollande to declare the strikes an “act of war” simultaneously announcing three days of national mourning.
On the morning of January 7, gunmen stormed into the offices of the satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo targeting its cartoonists and killing 12 people. Immediately after Friday’s attacks, another Charlie Hebdo cartoonist, Joann Sfar, responded defiantly by publishing a series of cartoons that strongly convey his deep anguish and anger in the aftermath of the deadly strikes.
Elsewhere around the world, famous landmarks — namely the World Trade Center in New York City, the Calgary Tower in Alberta, Australia’s Sydney Opera House, the Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai, and the Tower Bridge in London — were lit in the honor of France, strikingly illuminated in French national colors of blue, white, and red to demonstrate support and sympathy for the unfortunate and innocent souls who perished in the Paris attacks.
[Image Credit: Jean Jullien via RT/News]