On Friday, it was a dark day in Paris and the rest of the world as terrorists attacked the city and left more than 120 people dead and hundreds others injured. Such an event can only cause angry reactions but one man, an artist and a native of France named Jean Jullien decided to pick up his brush and drew the now viral peace for Paris symbol. This simple symbol that combined the Eiffel tower and the peace symbol has been printed on T-shirts, shared on social media and drawn on the streets of many cities to show solidarity with the French people.
According to an interview with TIME magazine, Mr. Jullien a London based artist who was on vacation at the time of the attacks said that he best expresses himself visually and his first reaction upon hearing the bad news was to draw a symbol of peace for Paris which he did on his lap almost impulsively. Upon posting it on his social media accounts it became embraced as the peace symbol for the French and others worldwide who showed their support for France and in a few hours it had generated more than 130,000 likes on Instagram and 50,000 retweets on twitter including by major celebrities and top political leaders. The French artist said that even though his work of art has gained worldwide recognition he wasn’t happy at all because of the loss of lives but he was glad that his symbol has been used to unify people and spread a message of peace. His other works are usually humor based as the artist said that he likes to put a smile on people’s faces something he says he has also achieved with the peace for Paris symbol as he has managed to make people smile and be peaceful in the face of such atrocity instead of being angry
There has been a huge amount of sharing of the symbol in fact Instagram themselves posted it of course giving him credit, but there are others who shared without giving him credit and when asked about it he simply said he doesn’t care as his intention wasn’t to get credit but for it to be shared as a sign of peace. These kinds of events usually generate a lot of anger from people but one of the effects of the symbol is that its message of peace took over and was spread more in fact it overshadowed any hate and anger messages on social media.