Letter from Philippe Lançon

Letter by Philippe Lançon, Libération, 14/1/2015

Please click here for the article in French.

Dear friends of Charlie and Liberation,

All that remains now are three fingers, peeking out from under the bandages, a jaw covered in plaster, and a few minutes of energy beyond which my ticket will no longer be valid to tell you all my love and thank you for your support and your friendship. I wanted to say simply this: if there is one thing that this attack reminded me or rather taught me is the reason why I am a journalist at these two newspapers – for the love of freedom and solidarity, through writing or drawing cartoons[…]

I thought of this in the horribly silent minute that followed the departure of the black-legged assassins – I saw nothing more of them, lying where I was among my dead comrades, under the table in the conference room[…]

I was going to leave when the killers barged in. I was showing Cabu, a great fan of jazz, the splendid photo book by Francis Wolf on musicians playing at the Blue Note which I planned to review for Liberation. Of course, he already knew it.

While the ambulance crew raised me from the floor to a wheelchair, I took one last look at my dead companions, Bernard, Tignous, Cabu, as my rescuers stepped between their dead bodies. And suddenly, my God, I realized they would not laugh again. It is important that we all continue to laugh, to write, and to publish – we need to do this in memory of them, in the pages of Libération and Charlie, far away from the powerful ones and their excesses. It will take me some time and some therapy to be able to laugh again – it seems like the jaw is weaker than the heart – but I will do it, and I will do it with you, my colleagues, my companions, my readers and repeat readers, my friends.

Philippe LANÇON

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