Jean Jullien's Peace for Paris illustration becomes symbol of unity in wake of terror attacks


Peace for Paris illustration by Jean Jullien

An image created by French designer Jean Jullien in response to the terrorist attacks in Paris yesterday has gone viral, becoming the most-shared symbol of unity with the French city.

The simple hand-painted image, which combines the peace symbol with a representation of the Eiffel Tower, has been liked over 120,000 times on Jullien's Instagram account and has been reposted by thousands of people around the world.

Jullien posted the monochrome symbol on Instagram last night along with the caption "Peace for Paris".

The post has attracted over 2,000 comments, including one that says: "Thank you for creating such beautiful symbol of peace and union for such an horrible moment".

"Thanks for adding a symbol of solidarity for the world to share," wrote another, while a third commenter said: "Thank you for reminding me of the place that art has in this world."

Hundreds of other people have adopted the illustration as their avatar on their own social media accounts, out of sympathy for the victims of the attacks and solidarity with the city.

Jullien, who hails from Nantes in France and is based in London, has made a name for himself through his humorous illustrations and diverse creative projects that include video, photography and even costume design.

Yet he is unafraid to tackle political and social issues, creating graphic responses to events including the Ferguson riots last year and the shootings at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris in January.

His contribution to the Charlie Hebdo attack, showing a pencil being thrust into the barrel of a rifle beneath the legend Je Suis Charlie, was one of the most-shared images of that tragedy.

Jean Jullien's graphic response to the Charlie Hebdo shootings was one of the most-shared images relating to the tragedy

"As soon as you take a stand, you expose yourself to harsher criticism than if you were focusing on sharing beautiful drawings or narratives," he said in an interview with Ours magazine earlier this year. "In my practice it is definitely something that is key and I find really important."

Over 100 people have so far died as a result of last night's atrocities in Paris, which saw gunmen and suicide bombers strike multiple targets in the French capital.

  • How do I spell “Je suis Parisienne”?

  • Guest

    Thanks Dezeen. The failure of my innocuous (in balanced circles) comment to be posted has been well noted. As my dad would have said, I’ve marked your card.

    • Hi, could you confirm what comment you are referring to? We have just run a search and found one that had been picked up by our spam filter. We have since published it.

      • Guest

        The one that has just miraculously appeared above my criticism. The one that I posted a day ago. Spam filter? Forgive me, but I thought you’d gone all political on me.

  • guestttwo

    It’s clever and well done, but “Peace”? What is needed now is war. Thankfully, Hollande understands this.

    • David

      War may be for today, but peace is the ultimate goal.

  • JamesW

    It’s a powerful illustration that captures global feeling. It also demonstrates how people look to Instagram for a visual response to events. It wasn’t long ago people turned to poets to better understand tragic events, but now we turn to illustrators. Jean Jullien continues to encapsulate raw emotion while offering reassurance and hope. Peace for Paris and peace for all innocents – in Syria and Iraq – who have been caught up in this awful war.

  • Luiz

    A remarkable tribute. May peace be with Paris soon.

  • Clare den Ouden

    Certainly it does not capture a GLOBAL feeling. The Western world does not equal the globe. France is deciding to go to war and it’s embarrassing to see that so many people so easily accept that as being the best way forward. This situation has been 30 years in the making. Perhaps we should all grow up a little and stop acting as angry impulsive two-year-olds.

  • Clare den Ouden

    Where has my comment gone?

  • guest

    Awareness at a stretch.