The inscription “Thrown into the Seine on 10/17/1961” was erased with a burin and the portrait, painted with a stencil on a garage wall in Ivry-sur-Seine in October, was sprayed with blood-red spots . A penis has also been engraved on the work.
A work of street art by Frenchman C215, in tribute to the Algerian victims who died on October 17, 1961, was degraded in Ivry-sur-Seine (Val-de-Marne) in a “manifestly racist manner”, the artist said. December 25th.
Whoever has added bloodstains and chiseled the wall to erase the inscription “thrown into the Seine on 17 10 1961 attached to the portrait of Ahmed Khalfi, in Ivry, must wonder how his racist imagination is so disturbed by the simple memory portrait of a victim … pic.twitter.com/1SkiHAClOS
On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the repression of Algerian demonstrators under the authority of the Paris police prefect of the time Maurice Papon, C215, whose real name is Christian Guémy, had painted with a stencil on a garage wall of Ivry a portrait of one of the victims of this repression, Ahmad Khalfi, with the inscription “Thrown into the Seine on 10/17/1961”.
As shown in a photo published on December 25 by the artist on social networks, this inscription was erased with a chisel and the portrait was sprayed with blood-red spots. A penis has also been engraved on the work. “It’s very violent for all North Africans and people who can really identify with him [Ahmad Khlafi]. He is not a political figure, he is just a victim of a massacre that was committed under circumstances of ordinary racism. And there, we perpetuate all that ”, regretted C215.
An offense thrown in the face not only of the victim but also of people of the present
For the first time, the French presidency recognized this year that “several dozen” Algerian demonstrators “were killed, their bodies thrown into the Seine” on October 17, 1961. The official record so far has only counted three victims.
“We condemn the degradation of which C215 was the object, whose work is known and recognized in the Paris region and by the Ivryans”, reacted the town hall of Ivry.
“It’s very sad. It is an offense thrown in the face not only of the victim but also of people of the present ”, continued C215. “I noticed it today but don’t know when it was done. It’s in a small street, there is not a lot of traffic, ”he explained. “I tried to make his portrait as lively and human as possible. It is painted at human height, in an area where there is a lot of diversity in addition, ”he added. “At a time when we are talking about diversifying the memorial representation in public space, we did not leave the hostel …”, he lamented.
In November, another stenciled portrait of C215, that of policeman Ahmed Merabet, coldly murdered by one of the Kouachi brothers in January 2015, was degraded in Paris. The police chief lodged a complaint, the racist insult “bicot” having been found in this portrait.