Responding to terrorism with peace, love, and solidarity: ‘Je suis Charlie’, ‘I Heart MCR’, and ‘One Love’

Journal article


Eroukhmanoff, C (2019). Responding to terrorism with peace, love, and solidarity: ‘Je suis Charlie’, ‘I Heart MCR’, and ‘One Love’. Journal of International Political Theory.
AuthorsEroukhmanoff, C
Abstract

This article explores the affective responses to terrorist attacks in Western Europe, visually manifested through the memes ‘Je suis Charlie,’ ‘Peace,’ ‘I heart MCR,’ and ‘One Love.’ By invoking the universal peace and solidarity signs, these responses mobilised an iconic repertoire that framed the responses as peaceful retaliations to terrorist attacks in solidarity with the victims and in that respect, helped to visualise and foster positive emotions in times of crisis. Indeed, the memes were articulated as the antidote (love) that can defy the brutality and hatred of terrorists. This article challenges this view in two ways. First, the article argues that the visual interventions constitute technologies of emotional governance that police subjects about whom to love, to whom solidarity should be extended and when and where those feelings should be displayed. Second, drawing on the work of Gilles Deleuze on Francis Bacon, this article demonstrates that by propagating iconic representations of solidarity, peace and love, ‘meming’ attends to the logic of the sensational and the cliché and thereby falls short of contesting terrorism through sensing peace, love and solidarity. Finally, the article addresses how the violence of sensation can release the invisible forces that can be made productive in celebrating life.

Keywordsvisual approaches; security; memes; Je suis Charlie; affect; terrorism; Gilles Deleuze
Year2019
JournalJournal of International Political Theory
PublisherSage Publishing
ISSN1755-0882
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1177/1755088219829884
Publication dates
Print05 Mar 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited13 Dec 2018
Accepted12 Dec 2018
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY 4.0
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/86753

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