Friday 13th November was the watershed moment when the world awoke from its slumber. The events of the terrorist attacks in Paris that night bought into stark focus the shear horror of the pain, destruction and death humans can inflict on each other.
Was this the first time that our peaceful way of life was shattered by the events we witnessed? No, this has not only happened many times on our doorsteps, but it is a way of life in far off places with names such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Beirut, Libya, Mali to name but a few. These names can usually be seen scrolling at the bottom of our television screens with a number as a suffix: “Suicide bomber kills 55 people and injures 59 in a Shite mosque in southern Pakistan.”
You see it for a second, then you continue with that cappuccino, croissant and ultimately your life.
Seeing such an out pouring of grief as well as the showing of solidarity across the cities of the world was not a complete surprise as this attack was also seen as something personal. It was a hammer blow to what we, in the West, hold dear: the freedom to go about our lives without fear.
I was compelled to see this for myself and be amongst fellow Europeans gathering on a cold wet evening in Trafalgar Square, London.
The following images I captured paint a picture of the mood of that night.