We still feel disbelief, sadness and anger over the hateful attack against Charlie Hebdo and the shameless anti-Semitic massacre that followed. We were disgusted to see artists being slaughtered because of how they freely expressed themselves: a killing perpetrated in the name of a reactionary ideology.
The writer and lifelong resident of Paris on last weekend's massive 'Je suis Charlie' rally that took place in the city in reaction to the Charlie Hebdo attack.
It seems that Sunday’s crowd at the Place de la République was as big as the one on 28 April 1944, which welcomed Marshal Pétain to the Hôtel de Ville as he attended the funeral service for the victims of Allied bombings. Apart from war fever (like the throngs of people shouting ‘To Berlin!’ in 1914), the great moments of unanimity have always been for burials – the funerals of Victor Hugo, Pierre Overney, Jean-Paul Sartre, or Edith Piaf. Sunday’s demonstration is of this same register – what animates the crowd is purely sentimental, the satisfaction of coming together to express our vague desires for unity and reconciliation. As if mere numbers of demonstrators sufficed to conjure up what we don’t have, namely a society that takes as its goal our common well-being.
Text and interview by Camille Polloni and Aurélie Champagne.
The writer and La Fabrique editor Eric Hazan makes a bet: ‘under this government there could be major movements’.
The 76 year-old Eric Hazan arrives on foot from his makeshift office on the heights of nearby Belleville, from where he directs the publisher La Fabrique. This short man, with the physique of a print worker, instantly gets on familiar terms.
I call everyone ‘tu’ and not ‘vous’, all the time. Except those who I think aren’t going to call me ‘tu’ in reply.
Born to a stateless mother (herself born in Palestine) and a Jewish father of Egyptian origin, Eric Hazan has led many lives, having previously been a surgeon in Lebanon and an editor at Beaux-Arts Hazan, inherited from his father, before it was bought out by Lagardère.
Click here for a French-language video of the interview with Eric Hazan.
A writer, translator of Edward Saïd, champion of Palestine and lover of Paris, Eric Hazan began his small activist publisher La Fabrique’s catalogue in 1998 with works by the philosopher Jacques Rancière, Alain Badiou and Edward Saïd, followed by a mass of essays and theoretical texts.
Journeying from Tahrir in 2011 to Tiananmen in 1989, passing via the Paris Commune-era Hôtel de Ville, Libération is spending three weeks surveying the now-symbolic places where citizens defied the powers-that-be in the name of democracy and individual freedom. Today we look at the square in front of Paris’ Hôtel de Ville.
David Bell's hostile review of Eric Hazan’s work is not surprising: clearly, the tradition of “people’s histories”, inaugurated by A.L. Morton’s A People’s History of England (1938) and continued, amongst others, by Howard Zinn and Chris Harman, is unlikely to find favour in the corridors of Princeton’s History Department – at least, since the retirement of Arno Mayer. However, aside from the silly gripe about the cover image (ever heard of artistic licence, David?) and the contemptuous tone of the piece, it is worth dwelling on the sneering reference to “the eccentric Trotskyite [sic.]-anarchist militant Daniel Guérin”.