MESSAGE TO THE ARCHITECTS OF THE WORLD Paris, November 24th 2015
Dear colleagues, dear friends,
Following the attacks of 13 November 2015 in Paris, the International Council of French Architects (CIAF), the French section of the International Union of Architects, has received many messages of condolence and support from other member organizations of the UIA, as well as messages from individual architects. I want to thank every author of these messages – the CIAF will pass these messages on to the French architects. These messages from all walks of life remind us that the brotherhood of man transcends the sovereignty of nations, which makes them a source of comfort.
Unfortunately, it is with great sadness that I announce to you that our profession is paying a heavy price for the barbarism. Indeed, to date, in the hope that there will be no further increase in the death toll, we have lost five architects and architecture graduates in these attacks:
Quentin Mourier was 29 years old. He graduated from the Ensa of Versailles in 2011, where he was a PhD student and lecturer. He also worked at the Ateliers du Grand Paris
Amine Ibnolmobarak, who was 29 years old, was a Moroccan architect and a graduate of the Ensa of Paris-Malaquais, where he was a research professor
Emilie Meaud was a graduate of the Ensa of Paris-La Villette and worked at the Chartier Dalix agency. Her twin sister, Charlotte, died by her side
Raphael Hilz, a 28-year old architect worked at Renzo Piano Building Workshop.
Two other RPBW employees were injured and are now in a stable condition.
Yoann Dando, a 26-year-old graduate of the ENSA of Normandy is one of the seriously injured. We also know that several students of architecture are among the injured.
I wanted to share the names of the victims with you, since behind each name is a face, a unique human being, a shattered life, the loss of skills, the loss of infinite hope and the loss of endless possibilities. In this, each loss is irreplaceable. This should remind us that human life is our most precious resource. Behind every victim is a family and relatives who are devastated. Our thoughts are with them.
Since the attacks, the testimonies and comments have been increasing. Most are genuine and are the expression of immense human solidarity in a shared destiny in a world where risk is now permanent and can strike anyone, anywhere, indiscriminately. Other comments challenge us! I do not believe that we are facing a war of religions, or a war between religion and secularism. These attacks indiscriminately struck victims of diverse origins, nationalities, communities, and, clearly, of various convictions. The faces, names and stories we know about testify to this. What was attacked was precisely the fact that, in Paris, more than in certain other parts of the world, it is possible to build links and porosities between communities, cultures, ideas and opinions. What we are victims of is an attack against a certain way of life and an ideal of tolerance and amiability, respect for others and openness to otherness, as well as of the freedom to be safe, to move around, to share the same place, to learn and to express oneself.
What is attacked by attacking Paris is, perhaps, a certain lightness and insouciance, which make it easier to live together and to hope, although we are also aware of the limitations of this. We are the victims of a fight between fanaticism and humanism!
Those who seized the French flag to show their support were right to do so. This flag is associated with the values of Freedom, Equality and Fraternity, which are not the sole property of France, but are shared values with which all of humanity can identify. We know that these values are fragile. The attacks in Paris bear witness to this fact! We also know that it is difficult to make them a reality, and that they need constant attention. Even within French society, they are too often tarnished! But they are the only hope of a better life together, of a world in which each and every person has a place and of the positive, progressive changes in which each and every person can take part. These values are worth defending. I know they are widely shared, throughout the world, by the community of architects. I also know they broadly inspire our daily work, which is oriented towards human beings and the spaces in which men and women live and work. I also know that our profession is very much committed to the development of more ethical business practices and is looking to the construction of a more sustainable world. We must continue to carry this commitment forward together!
On 30 November 2015 we will be at the Cité de l'Architecture in Paris at the COP 21 for the "Architecture, the Climate of the future" conference. Firstly, I would like to confirm that this conference, on which the CIAF has been working for several months with the UIA, the CAE and CNOA, will still be held with enhanced security.
The way we perceive Paris will probably have changed. But our presence will ensure that we continue to bring the City of Light to life. Our presence will make a loud and clear statement of the essential place of the architect in energy transition. It is a fight to which we Architects must contribute!
The community of architects, strengthened by friendship, will meet the challenge! Your messages of support bear witness to this! I want to thank you again for this. I am counting on the presence of the greatest possible number in Paris on November 30.
Philippe KLEIN, President and members of CIAF
Conseil pour l’International des Architectes Français – CIAF
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