Once when I was younger I was given the advice ‘If you want to change the world become a lawyer’, although they were trying to protect me the stubborn little teenager I was became more determined. The advice wasn’t bad per say but it wasn’t me. I looked at becoming a lawyer but it just wouldn’t stick, I couldn’t stop my pen writing and my voice singing what I felt passionate about.
Since the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices I’ve been thinking a lot and listening to any news story that I could, hoping the hostages at least would make it out alive. Like the Sydney siege, Boston Marathon Bombing, 7/7 and 9/11, this was done to put fear into us, unlike those attacks this was one trying to silence humor and freedom of speech. I’m friends with a lot of artists who felt a little shaken that day, but as well as ever they have responded. The internet is filled with drawings and responses to the attack, with intelligence, wit and humor.
You’ll notice that until this point I have not used the word Islamic Terror, and I don’t want to start. Why, you ask? Because these terrible acts of violence do not define every Muslim in the world, just as the Westboro Baptist Church doesn’t represent all Christians and the Nazi’s didn’t represent everyone in Germany. I am grateful to have friends from all religions, and although I myself am an Atheist, they have all respected that.
Those terrorist had a warped idea of what the world should be, they also thought they could silence us. How wrong have they been. These attacks, if anything, have united not only the French people, whom I offer my condolences to, but also the artistic community. Artists have reacted brandishing their best weapon, pens, pencils etc. Writes have come out in force with the message ‘ you will not destroy us’ and the people have agreed with this.
The thing is that after these kinds of horrors happen, we are a little fearful and a little more cautious. We need to remember that those feelings are perfectly human, but it is when we start to act differently due to fear that they have got what they wanted, I for one will not be a person to let that happen. And so as the newspapers this morning report on the worry that London will be next, I won’t stop going. I’ll carry on travelling into central and going about my day, as many others will.
We cannot bring back those who have been murdered, but we can remember and honor them and those recently lost in Sydney and the ones all over the world who have been lost to terror. So we won’t forget them, we will carry on drawing, writing, remembering and support those they have left behind as much as we can because just stopping would be an insult to their memory more than anything.