The statue of Marianne, the national symbol of the French Republic, towers more than a hundred feet above Paris’s sprawling Place de la République, an olive branch in her hand.
On the evening of the anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, the square is bustling. Locals and tourists circle around Marianne in an almost processional way while a Joe Strummer lookalike stands up on the plinth with a guitar and microphone.
Marianne herself is bathed in the bright lights of the news crews here to cover the sombre anniversary, but the tents of almost two hundred refugees right behind them remain barely lit. Continue reading “The dividing line at Paris’s square of unity”