Saturday, January 10, 2015

NZ Cartoonists and Community Respond to the Charlie Hebdo Attack

Above: UK/NZ cartoonist Rufus Dayglo photographed attending a silent vigil in Trafalgar Square, London.

On January 7th, twelve people were killed in an armed attack by two masked gunmen on the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris. The victims of this horrific act of violence included five cartoonists: Stéphane Charbonnier, also known as 'Charb', the magazine's editor and chief cartoonist; Jean Cabut, aka 'Cabu'; Georges Wolinski, one of the founders of Charlie HebdoBernard Verlhac, aka 'Tignous', and Philippe Honoré, a staff cartoonist.

The attack was believed to be in response to the satirical magazine's use of Muhammad-related cartoons and material. Police officers were stationed at the offices of Charlie Hebdo after previous death threats and a fire-bombing incident in 2011, and sadly two officers were killed during the initial attack and the armed exchanges that followed.

Above: Photo from the Auckland vigil held at Aotea Square on Friday evening. Photo by Amy Baker.

Following the tragedy, there have been vigils held worldwide to morn and remember the victims of this attack, taking place in Paris, London, and many other cities around the world, including here in Wellington and Auckland. Signs bearing the phrase "Je suis Charlie" (I am Charlie) were created and held aloft along with pens and pencils in a tribute of solidarity with the staff of Charlie Hebdo to champion their right (and others) to express themselves through art without having to live in fear of reprisal. Over 300 people filled Auckland's Aotea Square yesterday evening, leaving their signs and messages of support with candles that continued to burn long into the night.

Above: "Je suis Charlie" by Dylan Horrocks.

Dylan Horrocks, Rod Emmerson and others responded to the news of the attack in an interview with the NZ Herald that you can read HERE.

UPDATE: On the 13th of January, Horrocks was also interviewed on 95b-FM's The Wire, you can hear the full interview HERE.

Above: "Je suis Charlie" by Toby Morris.

Local political cartoonist Tom Scott, whose cartoons have previously been featured in French newspaper Le Monde, was interviewed by Radio NZ HERE.

Above: "Je suis Charlie" by Tim Molloy.

Saturday morning the news broke that the two wanted gunmen were located hiding in a printing plant north of Paris in Dammartin-en-Goele, and were later killed in a shoot out with police, bringing this tragic series of events to an unsettling end.

The surviving staff of Charlie Hebdo have moved to the offices of Liberation magazine, where they will continue to publish, with the print run for next week's issue expected to be one million copies.

- AK!

Above: Photos from the Auckland vigil held at Aotea Square on Friday evening. Photos by Amy Baker.

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