Liberty is a privilege. I have lived in and traveled to enough countries to verify that. It is a privilege conquered by our ancestors. Fought for with courage. And I am sorry to say: Liberty is in danger. Assailed from all parts. This is not a political memento. Just a reminder. Food for thought if you so wish. Above and below: the statue of Liberty by Bartholdi, on the Ile aux cygnes, the isle of swans, Paris.
Diderot: the freedom of thought and knowledge. Without Diderot and the Encyclopedia, Voltaire, Montesquieu, Rousseau may not have had so much opportunity to write. Without them, the American Revolution and Independence, the French Revolution may not have happened. (Street art series on the most famous French buried in the Pantheon)
Freedom of clothes: skimpy shorts and the national flag worn as an accessory. (Paris 2018, world cup celebration)
I have had a dream. Martin Luther King memorial. Washington D.C. 2015.
Wearing the flag with elegance. Paris 2018.
“… All men are created equal… with certain inalienable rights… Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happpiness…”. That and the First amendment are among the greatest texts ever written. Washington, D.C. 2015. (Make sure you read the text. Again!) 😉
“Always, Tyranny has a happy preamble.” A 12 syllable Alexandrin verse. The author is Jean Racine, one of the greatest French drama writers. The play, Brittanicus is set during the Roman Empire, to thwart the Almighty French King, Louis XIV’s censorship. It was first performed in 1669. Just think for a second: how many examples in – recent – history can you think of?
Statue of Liberty, Jardin du Luxembourg (where the French Senate holds its sessions). Paris, 2018. I understand there are five replicas in Paris. Found three this year. 🙂
The pursuit of happiness. Terrace of the Galeries Lafayette, Paris, 2018. How many countries allow girlfriends in flimsy dresses to have a glass of wine in public?
“The crowd salutes American soldiers in Paris during the liberation of the capital in August 1944.” Western Europe has lived in peace for the past 74 years…
Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers, Paris, 2018. I was on my way to find the Church where one of my ancestors had been christened in the 19th century when I passed by. (Still two statues to go. Not a clue where they are.)
“At the terrace of Life, the shining of our furious liberty.” (“Furieuse” in this context is more courage than anger) Butte-aux-cailles, Paris, 2018.
Flea market, Saint-Ouen. On the right is a Liberty extinguisher. Advanced models are currently being tested on Pennsylvania Avenue.
46 Rue Jacob, Paris. I have walked this street countless times. Unaware. Ten numbers away, this plaque caught my breath, on another building, 56, Rue Jacob:
“In this building, formerly known as the Hôtel d’York, on September 3rd, 1783, David Hartley, in the name of the King of England, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay and John Adams, in the name of the United States of America, signed the definitive peace treaty acknowledging the Independence of the United States.”
Enjoy freedom, wherever you are.