World

'Wall of Love' Helps Parisians Heal From 2015 Attacks

Residents and business owners channel their fear and uncertainty into art.

Photo Credit: via Twitter

Hélène Lebecque’s jewelry and craft shop is next door to the restaurant Le Petit Cambodge, which along with its sister bar Le Carillon, were bombed on November 13th. In the days after the horrific terrorist attacks, the business owners in the Parisian neighborhood, which Lebecque described to Egyptian newspaper Ahram Online as “like a village here, we all know each other,” collaborated to build a web of garlands, hung from window to window. Local schoolchildren joined and attached small drawings, helping to heal the neighborhood, and themselves in the process.

 

 

The local school was also a major supporter of another project, started by artist and resident Diane Rami. After the attacks, she explained to the New York Times, “I was really afraid, and I felt all alone.” Determined to channel her fear into something positive, Rami began by painting a section of wall along the Rue Alibert near her daughter’s school. Fellow school parents, noticing her work, campaigned to the local government for permission to paint the entire wall.

 

 

A crowdfunding campaign raised $500 to cover the cost of paint, and residents and street artists alike began their work. Rami’s initial painting has blossomed into a community initiative called Dessine-Moi un Bouquet. The wall is also known as Le Mur de l’Amour, or “the wall of love.”

The pieces range from Rami’s trees to Jo Di Bona’s adaptation of a Degas painting to Sara Chelou’s Betty Boop.

Learn more about the project, and see photos of all of the contributions in the New York Times

Ilana Novick is a production editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @faintpraise

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