Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Willis the Demonstrator


Photo: Sylvia Borel, May 30, 2014.
- courtesy of Sylvia Borel and must not be reproduced without her permission.

This is written in Copenhagen, placed in one of those countries in which about 25 % of the votes in the election to the European Parliament went to an extreme right-wing, anti-European party. Each of the "protester parties" seems busy claiming that it has nothing to do with its sister parties, obviously fearing exposure by the comparison. Among the rest of us discussing the alternatives, the students in France took to the streets in all major cities on May 29.

In Paris, a certain cat was spotted. Instantly recognizable in the photo above by Sylvia Borel. The young chose him as one of their voices, and he did proudly. Willis of WillisFromTunis by Nadia Khiari measure 18-20 cm. at the most on the print used, nor are his words readable from a distance, and still he is instantly recognizable, not only as Willis, but as an icon of dissent. He is open, confrontational, the embodiment of dialogue and thus of the right to always hear more than the one voice, even if the two are in accordance in this instance.

The manifestations addressed the hatred of Front National. The text on the banner to the left reads "Voting on Le Pen serves nothing / serves the Aryan", which is right in Willis' own league on the play on words. His drawing was made on the day of the election:

Nadia Khiari, WillisFromTunis, May 25, 2014.
- Front National has won 25 % of the votes!!
- Oh, s.... or rather the exclamation is untranslatable, please see the text below:

The exclamation is a take on one of his favorite pieces of swearing - Putaiiin!! Pétain was the French WW1 military hero, who was nearly executed after WW2 as a traitor having chosen the side, which for one saw the French Jews deported to the concentration camps. Pétain written with triple i's of course.


Photo: WillisFromTunis, June 3, 2014.

This is not 1968, but it is Paris in May with the greenery and the energy of the young on the right to dissent. In today's language we could say that this is the physical edition of the social media.


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