Cartoonists speak up after attack | Culture| Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW | 09.01.2015
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Cartoonists speak up after attack

The bloody attack on Charlie Hebdo has provoked a powerful response from cartoonists on social media. Many are speaking out on behalf of their slain colleagues the best way they know how - with satire.

The overwhelming response of cartoonists worldwide to the shooting in Paris has been defiant. Many are determined to show they will not be intimidated or silenced by the attack on their colleagues at Charlie Hebdo. Four of France's most prominent satirical cartoonists were among the magazine's staffers killed.

This collage by Chilean cartoonist Francisco J. Olea reads, "A call to arms comrades!"

And the "comrades" certainly answered the call. Since Wednesday's attack, cartoonists around the world have been uploading their drawings to the internet and social media platforms. A recurring symbol in many of their works is the pen as a weapon, representing press freedom and freedom of expression, in the fight against terrorism.

"Can't sleep tonight," Australian cartoonist David Pope wrote when he tweeted this powerful cartoon. He told Australian media he sketched the piece while watching TV as news of the shooting broke. By Friday morning it had more than 70,000 retweets on Twitter.

"It just hit a nerve," he said in an interview with the Canberra Times. "Ultimately people who carry out these attacks can't defeat ideas through these means and they won't succeed."

Dutch cartoonist Ruben L. Oppenheimer draws a comparison between the Paris shooting and the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

For Canadian cartoonist Michael de Adder, the shooting is an assault on free speech.

"Charlie Hebdo. Unstoppable." Dutch cartoonist Joep Bertrams titled his work, "Immortal."

The terrorists who carried out the bloody attack are baffled by the "little weapon" used by the cartoonists in this image by Indian artist Satish Acharya.

US cartoonist MacLeod is convinced that freedom of expression is more powerful than a machine gun.

Oriol Malet, from Barcelona, also represents the pencil as a powerful weapon.

Lectrr from the Netherlands gets to the heart of satire: "The more I cut off… the sharper it gets."

One of the most-shared images on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook was drawn by French illustrator Lucille Clerc. Taking a more optimistic view, she looks to the future with hope.

Charlie Hebdo has always been known for its biting, satitical cartoons, and for not paying heed to religious sensitivities. Judaism, Christianity and Islam have all been in the firing line. In December, they produced a special issue on the "Baby Jesus."

A Muhammad cartoon appeared on Charlie Hebdo's October 2014 edition: "When Muhammad came back..." reads the cover, as the Prophet Muhammad is called an infidel and executed by a jihadist.

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