Political Cartoons on Charlie Hebdo

Note from Mr. Cullinane–Some of my students drew political cartoons after learning about the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris. They joined the many that used visual art to convey the anger, confusion, and hope that widely circulated following the terror.

Sophia Ponce drew this cartoon in response to the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris
Sophia Ponce drew this cartoon in response to the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris

Sofia Ponce (Senior)

The image is in support of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists for practicing their freedom of speech. You see a dog with a leash on the left, in the middle a pencil as a General and on the right, a terrorist with a gun. One of the most important characters in the cartoon is the dog with the leash barking at the representative of the Charlie Hebdo magazine. The dog represents protesters who believe that these cartoonists did not deserve to die but had to be more respectful when publishing cartoons offending other religions. The General who has two pencils pointing at both the dog and the terrorist shows that the Charlie Hebdo magazine’s freedom of speech is being attacked from both sides so he is trying to defend himself. Already being shot by the terrorist the General still stands tall with their belief that freedom of speech is important and is something to fight for. We can’t retrain ourselves just to be respectful because either way we will always be attacked by both sides.

I gained my inspiration from another political cartoon that I found online.

Freedom of speech is nothing if you have to be careful of what you create or say.
The “Extremist Approved Cartoon” image opened a lot of emotions. All our history has been based on earning rights and freedom, but to what extent are we actually free? The fact that these cartoonists died for creating what they see is incredible because who would of thought that an

Ponce gained her inspiration from a political cartoon she found online. This was drawn by Christian Adams and originally published in The Telegraph.
Ponce gained her inspiration from a political cartoon she found online. This was drawn by Christian Adams and originally published in The Telegraph.

image could really take someone to the point of killing? A lot people say that Charlie Hebdo workers should not have died, but they were being disrespectful and should watch how they use their freedom of speech.

Freedom is the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint (google definition word for word).Saying they should have thought of how offensive it would’ve been to others is a restraint. If you are somewhat “JE SUIS CHARLIE,” you really aren’t at all. We shouldn’t be scared of what we believe in, in what we want to create, or what we want to say. Too many deaths have already been lost to gain us our freedom of speech for us to be in a state of mind where we’re still neglecting our freedom to speak our minds with no censorship. This image shows that having to think of what we create takes away our freedom, even if you are just trying not disrespect. This leaves you with no freedom….no image…nothing….

Raquel Rivas (Senior)

First, you can see that it says, “Who has more blood on their hands?” One pair of hands has an actual blood and a knife. The other has a number of colors and words covering them holding a pencil. The hands with blood on them are, of course, actually covered in blood. Those were meant

Rivas' used her artistic panache to make a bold statement about freedom of speech.
Rivas’ used her artistic panache to make a bold statement about freedom of speech.

to represent the people who were murdered with weapons such as the knife. The other pair are filled with mediums of art which are colors and words. Those hands represent any artists or really anyone who can use a pen or pencil.

Words can be very powerful, and so are cartoons. The mind from which all those words come from is almost limitless, in my eyes. Actual hands and guns can kill people but not their ideas. Those can live on longer than any human can. Old books and pieces of art can certainly prove that point.
But overall it depends what the viewer thinks. You can look at it in a different way. Even by turning the paper around. It really all depends on how you look at it. ( Also the pencil in the left hand is just because I write with my left hand so maybe that could add onto the meaning since I write with the “wrong” hand.)
Kiara Sanchez (Senior)

When I was brain storming for my Charlie Hebdo cartoon, I kept thinking back to the other political cartoons that I’ve seen in class. I constantly saw writing utensils like pens, pencils, etc. Drawings

of guns were also being repeated. With this in mind, I thought that I can incorporate both of these symbols into my cartoon. In the end I drew two machine guns, like the ones the attackers used,

Sanchez's cartoon holds a strong message, inspired by the published cartoons of famous artists.
Sanchez’s cartoon holds a strong message, inspired by the published cartoons of famous artists.

and on the guns I drew a prohibited sign to demonstrate that the French people will not stand for violence. Underneath the guns I drew a guy wearing a shirt stating “Je suis Charlie.” This slogan was taken up by the supporters of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. In his hands he is a holding a pencil and a sharpener which signifies that the French people will keep writing and in

case if someone tries to break the pencil-freedom of speech- he will just sharpen it and keep on writing.

Simone Bennett (Senior)

The picture that I drew represents the tragedy that happened in France. The flag and the pencil represent the strength of France and also represents Charlie Hebdo as a whole.The girl is crying because when she looks at the flag, she is visualizing the people in Charlie Hebdo that died at the hands of terrorists, and she wants to let France know that she is Charlie, too.

Bennett's picture was inspired by her emotional reaction to the attacks.
Bennett’s picture was inspired by her emotional reaction to the attacks.

One thought on “Political Cartoons on Charlie Hebdo

  1. I really loved all of these cartoons. These cartoons represent some powerful statements. Its so nice to see students care and show sympathy for what happened in France even though it may have not affected them personally.

    Like

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