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Paris street artist pays homage to 'forgotten' victim of Charlie Hebdo attacks

Republican guards stand outside the Hyper Cacher supermarket ahead of a ceremony marking the second anniversary of the deadly attack against the store in Paris on January 5, 2017.
Republican guards stand outside the Hyper Cacher supermarket ahead of a ceremony marking the second anniversary of the deadly attack against the store in Paris on January 5, 2017. Christophe Archambault/AFP

Graffiti artist Christian Guemy, better known by his pseudonym C215, spray painted the portrait of police officer Clarissa Jean-Philippe in the Paris suburb of Montrouge to commemorate the second anniversary of the attacks that gripped Paris over three days in January 2015.


A graffiti portrait of Clarissa Jean-Philippe can now be found at 91 avenue Brossolette in Montrouge. It is precisely here that the police officer, who was 25 years old at the time, was shot and killed on 8 January 2015. The words “Je suis Clarissa”--or “I am Clarissa”--accompany the portrait, in reference to the viral hashtag that emerged after the attacks, “Je suis Charlie”.

#jesuisclarissa #montrouge #jesuischarlie #inmemoriam #c215

Une photo publiée par C215 (@christianguemy) le

Christian Guemy, or C215, worked on the portrait with Patrick Pelloux, who has contributed to the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

“Pelloux is a friend of mine, and we both enjoyed doing this portrait together,” said C215. “We wanted to transform the painful memory of this event into something more welcoming.”

C215 added that he did Jean-Philippe's portrait so that she would not be forgotten.

The artist also did graffiti portraits of two other victims: one of Charlie Hebdo staff cartoonist Tignous in Paris' eastern suburb Montreuil, and one of HyperCacher employee Lassana Bathilly, who saved multiple hostages during the market’s siege

The "forgotten" victim

Jean-Philippe was killed by Amedy Coulibaly, the man who, one day after her death, took several hostages and killed four people in a HyperCacher supermarket in eastern Paris. Coulibaly was ultimately killed by police when they stormed the store.

Although Jean-Philippe was one of the 17 victims killed in the attacks that occurred in Paris from 7 January 2015 to 9 January 2015, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, in the company of Interior Minister Bruno le Roux, did not visit the spot where she was killed during this year’s official commemorations on Thursday.

According to the mayor’s press office, Thursday’s commemorations were intended to pay homage to the victims of the attacks that took place on the 7th and the 9th of January, the days of the Charlie Hebdo and HyperCacher attacks respectively. As Jean-Philippe was killed on the 8th, the day between the two major attacks, the street in Montrouge less than one kilometre from Paris where she was killed did not receive an official visit.

Montrouge city officials announced that a wreath of flowers will be placed there next week.

The three sites Hidalgo and le Roux visited on Thursday were the former offices of Charlie Hebdo; the spot where a police officer was killed only a few metres from the office as he tried to stop the Kouachi brothers from fleeing; and the HyperCacher supermarket in eastern Paris.

Jean-Philippe was honoured however in 2016, when President François Hollande visited the site in Montrouge.

The offices of Charlie Hebdo were attacked on 7 January 2015 by brothers Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, who killed 12 people and wounded 12 others before escaping. The next day, Coulibaly killed Jean-Philippe and shot and wounded another woman jogger in nearby Parisian suburb Fontenay-aux-Roses. On 9 January, Coulibaly attacked the HyperCacher market, killing four, while the Couachi brothers took hostage employees of a signage production company in Dammartin-en-Goële. It was on this day that all three assailants were killed after standoffs with police.

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