‘Je suis Charlie’

Against Intolerance


This magazine cannot be detached from the world commotion caused by the terrorist acts of 7 January in Paris, which took the lives of seventeen innocent citizens, and thus wishes to pay tribute to Charlie Hebdo and, in general, to the freedom of expression that for two centuries has been a pillar of civilization. Hence the two publication covers reproduced above: that of the magazine The New Yorker, drawn by the Spanish illustrator Ana Juan, which was among the subtlest of many press covers that chose to run the tragedy graphically; and the one which with a historic print-run of five million copies was released by the French satirical weekly newspaper in the immediate wake of the barbaric killings, with the motto adopted by the protest, ‘Je suis Charlie,’ appearing under the conciliatory message of ‘Tout est pardonné’ (all is forgiven). To these we add Focho’s cartoon titled ‘Checkpoint Charlie,’ in allusion to the Berlin Wall brought down slightly over twenty-five years ago now, but in reality a metaphor of the border that separates two diametrically opposed ways of looking at life and the world: on the one hand, with the blind and violent extremism of times we believed to be long over; on the other hand, with the tolerance of the Charlie Brown who lent his name to Charlie Hebdo, and whom Focho shows addressing some of the characters who are the protagonists of the French newspaper’s caustic and irreverent humor, warning them to “take heed of the wild side!” It is to be hoped that barbarity stays there forever: on the wild side.

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