Wall of Love

Where once there was terror, now there is love. A whole wall of it.


“You read the prospectuses, the catalogues, the posters that sing out loud. Here’s poetry this morning and for prose there are newspapers.”

When her neighborhood was hit by terrorists on November 13, like most local residents, artisan jeweler Diana Kami didn’t know what to do.

She told my colleague at France 24 that she dropped her daughter off at school on the Monday after the attacks and found herself instintively decorating the school’s outside wall, which stretches for a block along rue Alibert just steps from  Le Carillon and Le Petit Cambodge, where many people died that terrible night.

Several other mothers noticed and asked the local government for permission to cover the whole wall, now nicknamed the “Mur de l’Amour,” with inspirational murals. They even raised 500 euros to cover the cost of paint.

Since then, street and graffiti artists have flocked to rue Alibert to make their own contributions. Here’s what Dani saw there.


Liberty and equality, snakes, hearts and airplanes



The weapon of peace is the wall of love.


Rue Alibert, across from St. Louis hospital, looking towards the intersection with rue Bichat and Le Carillon.



Jeudi ‘apéro ça caille’

Created in late November 2015 to create and reinforce solidarity by assisting the homeless in Paris’ 11th arrondissement, the charity organization Le Carillon [not associated with the bar attacked on November 13, 2o15] is hosting its second public event this Thursday night from 8-11pm at Chez toi ou chez moi, 3 rue du Général Renault, 75011.

The only element required to enter this “It’s cold cocktail hour” are your spare pairs of gloves, warm hats, scarves and socks to be donated.

In just more than two months of existence, Le Carillon has already brought together 25 local cafés, restaurants and shops offering a variety of services to the homeless (or anyone in need).

Participating businesses are identified by a blue sticker with the project’s logo and various pictograms in their window, letting passersby know they can access a variety of free services inside. Those range from the very basic (using the toilet, having a glass of water or hot tea, charging a mobile phone or just sitting down to warm up and talk) to the more substantial: using a first-aid kit, sending a letter, making a phone call, sharing a sandwich/hot meal or picking up a warm item of clothing or duvet.

The first event in January was a “sleeping bag cocktail hour” during which more than 30 sleeping bags and funds to buy more were collected in less than three hours.

Le Carillon says its ultimate objective is to eventually “reach all the urban zones of France, bringing together thousands of businesses and inviduals.”

I’m in touch with the founder about eventually expanding the network to my neighborhood. Is anyone interested in doing so in their quartier? Please contact us.

To read more about the establishments already participating, click here.


Jeudi « Apéro ça caille ! »

Fondée fin novembre 2015 pour promouvoir la solidarité avec les SDF du 11ème arrondissement, l’association caritative Le Carillon (sans lien avec le café homonyme attaqué lors des attentats du 13 novembre) organise sa seconde manifestation publique ce jeudi, de 20 h à 23 h au « Chez toi ou chez moi » (3 rue du Général Renault 75011).

Seul impératif pour participer à cet “Apéro ça caille !”, venir avec les gants, les bonnets, les écharpes ou les chaussettes que vous êtes prêts à offrir.

En à peine deux mois d’existence, Le Carillon a déjà fédéré 25 commerçants proposant toute une palette de services aux SDF (ou à toute personne en difficulté).

Les établissements participants sont identifiables par les autocollants bleus frappés du logo de l’association apposé sur leur vitrine, des pictogrammes permettant de connaître la nature des prestations spécifiques fournies sur place, des plus basiques (utilisation des toilettes, verre d’eau ou tasse de thé, recharge de téléphone, possibilité de se mettre au chaud et de bavarder) aux plus substantiels (kits de premiers secours, possibilité de poster du courrier, téléphone, restauration froide ou chaude, fourniture de vêtement ou de duvets).

La première opération, organisée au mois de janvier (« Apéro sac de couchage »), avait ainsi permis de rassembler plus d’une trentaine de sacs de couchage en moins de 3 heures.

A terme, l’objectif du Carillon est de toucher toutes les zones urbaines de France et de fédérer des milliers de personnes et d’établissements. J’ai d’ailleurs pris contact avec le fondateur dans la perspective d’étendre leur initiative à mon propre quartier. Si vous souhaitez faire la même chose dans le vôtre, faites vous connaître !

Pour en apprendre davantage sur les établissements déjà concernés, cliquez ici.