Media coverage of the Charlie Hebdo crisis was striking for its triangulation of locations which are emblematic of contemporary France. From the banlieue where the attackers grew up, to the public spaces in central Paris where French national values were reasserted, space and its representation emerged as key perspectives from which to consider the events and what they reveal about the current state of the country. This article examines the spatial dynamics of the crisis, its visual representation, and their role in the framing and consumption of the events. It discusses the work of photographer John Perivolaris, present in Paris in the week following the crisis during a visit planned before the attacks. His images record how popular reaction was inscribed in public space, how memories of previous moments of resistance were re-enacted, and how shifting forms of protest are indicative of broader pressures at work on contemporary France.
All photographs are the copyright of John Perivolaris and reproduced with permission. Figures 1, 5 and 6 are colour images and can be viewed in their original form in the online version of this article.
- Charlie Hebdo
- French Republic
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- School of Divinity, History & Philosophy, George Washington Wilson Centre for Art and Visual Culture
- School of Language, Literature, Music & Visual Culture, French - Carnegie Chair of French