This project is best suited for high-school students and beyond. This power-point presentation contains 128 slides which illustrate through editorial cartoons: the Charlie Hebdo Massacre that happened in Paris in in January of 2015. The first six slides are dedicated to the facts surrounding the tragedy and contain text along-side photographs of Paris citizens grieving. The next 100 slides show 100 editorial cartoons made by both professional and avid artists from around the world, and drawn within 48 hours of the event. Each artist addressed the tragedy from a unique perspective. The last 20 slides show both the teacher’s example as well as many student examples of editorial cartoons related to the Massacre.
How to use this presentation:
This presentation has already been used by art teachers, French teachers, political science and social studies teachers and more. It can obviously be used in 2015 as a current event issue and either prompt or follow an in depth examination of the tragedy. It also has applications for future use as well. Throughout our history, when a major event happens in our society, artists react and draw their responses. From the civil war and D-day to the space shuttle explosion and 9/11, editorial cartoons have a long history and are here to stay. This presentation can be shown again and again because while it covers one main issue, it illustrates how one issue can have so many different interpretations. Students will find that they too can be successful in creating their own editorial cartoon given that there are many ways to look at any given situation.
Here’s what I did:
After showing this presentation, I led a discussion on the horrific event, as well as the pros and cons of free speech and whether or not it is ok to visually depict the Prophet Mohamed. My school-district is quite diverse and students made arguments both for and against. We discussed similar current events, ongoing wars, terrorism, the role of our country, the role of each individual, and more. Our discussions were rich and meaningful.
I gave the following assignment to my high school students as an extra credit opportunity. I asked them to create their own editorial cartoon in response to the Charlie Hebdo tragedy.
I wasn’t sure what to expect. I simply hoped that my students might be moved by the power that art can have, disturbed by the ugliness of the gunman’s reactions, and inspired to work in solidarity with their fallen comrades (the artists of Charlie Hebdo).
There responses were amazing!
I hope you and your students will enjoy this presentation as much as my students did. Enjoy!
-Bo (The Art Guru)