Why would a weekly French satirical magazine matter to five college students in Chicago?
We decided to publish Charlie Hebdo’s controversial cover of Muhammed following the attacks. In our mission statement, we aim to explore freedom of expression. On the morning of January 7th, 2015, that same freedom of expression was challenged in an office in Paris. We recognize that the content of Charlie Hebdo is often offensive, however; that is the point of being a satirical magazine- to poke fun at others. Charlie Hebdo doesn’t target any one person, ethnicity or religion- everyone is fair game.
Initially, when brainstorming the theme of our blog, our members agreed that current events sparked our interest. We’re connected 24/7 with technology and we felt it was important to know what was happening in our world. When we came back from winter break, #JeSuisCharlie was all over our social media – Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. We think it’s important to continue this discussion, even two months later. The reaction to Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons highlighted the relationship between art and freedom of expression, and we wanted to use that to start a larger conversation.
While we may not agree with the magazine’s content, and we may have different ideas of what qualifies as tasteful, we agree with the idea of having the right to express yourself freely. This is what we intend to discuss on our blog.
And in this way, #JeSuisCharlie.
What do you think? Comment below or tweet @ExpressLoyola with #JeSuisLUC!
I really like how this blog is focusing on freedom of speech because I believe that most of the time we are told that we should keep our thoughts to ourselves and go with the flow. I think that not enough people are expressing themselves.
Thanks, Hannah! We hope we can inspire some people to express themselves more, but we also think there’s a lot of people expressing themselves in ways we might not think about in our daily lives. Keep following our blog to see for yourself what you think!