Pray for Paris

With the constant uprising and clashes between cultures amongst society, the fear of war and terror has swept throughout the world. Unfortunately this became reality for the city of Paris, as a series of attacks left the world in shock.

On the night of Friday November 13th, 2015, the city of Paris was brought to a halt, as an act of terror saw the community erupt into frenzy, as a series of shootings and bombings took over the city. Within a matter of hours, from one act to the next, the people of Paris saw this tragedy unfold before their eyes, to what would be one of the worst attacks known today. The extent of the attack saw an outpouring of love from all over the world to the victims, families and friends of Paris, almost immediately, as the sheer shock of the situation captured the attention of people.

The purest sense of sympathy was expressed by many on social media, but it was in the form of drawing, a simple gesture of an image, came to represent the peace offering of the attacks. The hash tag #PeaceforParis went viral after French graphic designer Jean Jullien combined the Eiffel tower and the iconic peace sign to form a symbolic message of love and peace. This spontaneous idea caught the attention of the world, as people were able to mindfully express their condolences through this image, as the symbol was powerful enough the express ones feelings without having to say anything. This notion has been embodied by Dunne and Raby, “critical design is about thinking through design rather than through words and using the language and structure of design to engage people.” I think that this point raises the exact thoughts behind the intentions of Jullien, as he created something that didn’t need to be explained, as the graphics spoke for themselves.

In a time of such horror, the solidarity of the world came together through the means of social media, as this outlet let people express their support for Paris, as people offered Parisians a place to stay through the hash tag #PorteOuverte, in hopes of keeping everyone safe. This act of kindness cemented that the sense humility is still present throughout society, as in world where technology can so easily be mistreated, in events like this, the power of social media rose above. From the act of one person, lead the motion of thousands of people to express their love for complete strangers, is something to which I find to be completely uplifting, as in an event where negativity seems to control the news, a positive was made out of all the bad.

-Caitlin

Reference:

Dunne, A. and Raby, F. 2013, Speculative everything : design, fiction, and social dreaming, MIT Press, Cambridge

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