After reading about the tragic murders of French cartoonists (and over a dozen other victims) at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo last week, Beijing’s Marianne Daquet knew she had to do more than simply repost the viral social media hashtag #JeSuisCharlie.
As an illustrator herself, Daquet — who runs Beijing-based French art school Atelier — decided to launch a more creative dedication to the victims. But she relied less on her keyboard for this new social media campaign, and more on her pen.
"My first reflex has been to draw something, to show my solidarity, my support and show that we will continue to express our ideas freely, as French, as artists, as citizens of democracies," Daquet said about the cartoon she drew as part of her #wearecharlietoo campaign.
Daquet’s campaign differs from the viral #JeSuisCharlie hashtag in that she asks participants to draw a picture rather than simply text in their tribute.
Daquet’s #wearecharlietoo illustration (above, which can be viewed along with drawings by other participants at Atelier’s website) is a stark black-and-white depiction of a young woman defiantly clenching a pen in her teeth.
On Friday, another contributor named Elizabeth sent a picture via Wechat comprised of pencils laid out in a pattern that spells "I AM CHARLIE." Later that day, another artist named Isabelle emailed a drawing of the French flag with a cartoonist’s pencil serving as the post.
"As I was writing a public message of solidarity, it came to me naturally to ask people to draw or send messages too," Daquet says. "I think the people who do it show their concern … and people who see them are touched by the gesture."
And while Daquet was deeply grateful for Isabelle and Elizabeth’s contributions, she was also admittedly disappointed that the campaign did not go viral from there.
"I thought [more]people, maybe French people more than the others, would want to show their support," she said. "But I received a lot of messages, or met a lot of people who just said: ‘Thank you, thank you for saying something.’ And for them, it was enough."
Daquet still hopes that more artists will partake in #wearecharlietoo. Those who wish to do so can send their illustrations or other images to email@example.com or via their Facebook page. Daquet will upload all submissions to Atelier’s website and social media networks.