Global solidarity in a time of terrorism

In 2015, a terrorist attack on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo resulted in the death of 11 people. Five more were killed in incidents over the next week. Tweeted 6,500 times per minute at its peak, #JeSuisCharlie was used as an expression of solidarity and became one of the most used hashtags in history.

Je Suis Charlie

by Lizzie Gill


Digital Mixed Media

“This work aims to explore how people’s physical presence and digital voice can come together in response to adversity. It investigates how, simultaneously, these two worlds can aid and inform one another during times of trauma and upheaval. This work evokes the significance of how and where people in Paris stood up to show the world that, ‘we are not afraid’.”

Lizzie is a mixed media artist whose work explores themes of retro Americana in a contemporary context.


#JeSuisCharlie was another moment when the borderless communication channels of social media allowed an international community of people to rally around a single common sentiment.

On a local level, #PorteOuverte (literally translating as “open door”) was shared on social to connect those in danger on the streets with Parisians who had space for those seeking refuge. Social empowered the community to support those in need, quickly and effectively.

What else happened in 2015?

Words become redundant

Emojis become the fastest-growing visual language in the world.

‘Netflix and chill’ is coined

The euphemistic phrase “Netflix and Chill” enters our vernacular.

A dress divides the world

A worldwide argument ensues, as people take to social channels to debate blue and black or white and gold.

#LoveWins unites

The unifying hashtag trends worldwide after the legalisation of same-sex marriage.