Je suis Charlie

Je suis Charlie


Over a million people, including French and foreign leaders, marched through Paris to pay tribute to victims of Islamist militant attacks. Seventeen people were killed in three days of violence that began with a shooting attack on the political weekly Charlie Hebdo, known for its satirical attacks on Islam and other religions.

Reuters photographers who covered the march each chose their favourite photograph and explained why the image stood out for them.

Reuters photographer Stephane Mahe: “I covered the arrival of the heads of state at the start of the solidarity march. I then made my way through the streets, which were packed with people holding “Je suis Charlie” banners, to the Place de la Nation.

It was the end of the day, the light was soft as I walked around the statue, “The Triumph of the Republic,” looking for a picture with the French flag and a pencil. I was fortunate that everything fell into my frame and I was able to combine dramatic light, a dynamic gesture with the giant pencil, and an interesting group around the statue.

Online people have called it “The Pencil Guiding the People”, in reference to the famous painting by Eugene Delacroix, “Liberty Guiding the People”. I find the comparison really interesting and it was a historic march, but I am surprised that my photograph has become so symbolic of the day.”

Canon 1DX, 35mm, f1.4, 1/100, ISO 2500

. PARIS, France. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left), Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (2nd left), French President Francois Hollande (centre), Germany's Chancellor Angela Merke (4th left), European Council President Donald Tusk (5th left) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attend the solidarity march in the streets of Paris.

Reuters photographer Philippe Wojazer: “I photographed the world leaders marching at the front of the demonstration in Paris. Being so close, it was very difficult to show both the leaders and the crowd in the background.

I managed to climb up on a traffic light pedestal and I decided to stay on this little platform as long as I could.

Security agents shouted that I had to move so I grabbed a traffic sign with my left arm, holding my camera overhead in my right hand, using the live-view mode to frame the picture.

What surprised me after is that Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas seem to be looking across at each other at this moment.”

Canon 1DX, 35mm, f4.5, 1/500, ISO 1000

. PARIS, France. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Reuters photographer Charles Platiau: “The photograph of the panels by street artist JR forming the tightly-cropped eyes of Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier was well published in newspapers and online. The panels were surrounded by thousands of demonstrators but only some are seen in the photograph.

I took this shot from a fourth floor balcony, which gave me an excellent view of the Place de la Republique.”

Canon 1DX 200mm, 1/800, f/2.8, ISO 200

. PARIS, France. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

Reuters photographer Pascal Rossignol: “I was at the Elysee Palace to cover the arrival of the dozens of heads of state before the solidarity march through the streets of Paris. The faces of the leaders were serious, full of emotion.

The most poignant moment was when German Chancellor Angela Merkel placed her head for a brief moment on the shoulder of French President Francois Hollande.

I sent the photograph knowing I had a single, strong, image, which could sum up the solidarity of leaders on this day of tribute to the people who died in the terror attacks last week in France.”

Canon 1DX, 200mm, f8, 1/400, ISO 1600

. PARIS, France. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Reuters photographer Eric Gaillard: “I was waiting for the start of the solidarity march when I saw a stencil on the road with the message, "Je suis Charlie".

The feet of the people walking past the graphic stencil on their way to join the march seemed very symbolic; capturing an event that more than one million people attended.”

Canon 1DX, 16mm, f9, 1/6, ISO 100

. PARIS, France. REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal

Reuters photographer Youssef Boudlal: “I had great difficulty finding a high vantage point for this photo. I had to negotiate with the owner of a private apartment to gain access to it and there were already other photographers there.

When I looked out of the window I was impressed by the size of crowd that had already gathered before the march had even started.”

Canon 1D MK 4, 21mm, f6.3, 1/160

. PARIS, France. REUTERS/Yves Herman

Reuters photographer Yves Herman: “This image shows a placard displaying the portraits of five of the people killed during the attack at Charlie Hebdo. It is strong in the sense that the photos on the placard are illuminated while the rest of the image is in darkness - this creates a powerful contrast.

Placards read: "Coward, Chicken, Yellow-Belly” (top) and “They, didn't hide. They they did not run” (Bottom).

Canon 1DX, 70-200 mm, f1/80, ISO 5000

. PARIS, France. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Reuters photographer Gonzalo Fuentes: “This picture combines several images; on the one hand a crowded Place de la Nation honouring the “Triumph of the Republic” with thousands of citizens defending this symbol, on the other, the Marianne, a French national symbol representing liberty.

In the picture, the Marianne, represented by a giant puppet dressed in white, is alive and walks amongst those that came to protect her.

The extent of the violence, as well as the target, journalists, make it difficult to distance oneself from the story.”

1DX, 16-35 mm, f/2.8, 1/13, ISO 8000