On the 13th of November 2015 Paris was shocked by terroristic attacks once again. The heart of the attacks was the Bataclan, a theatere where concerts take place and which attracts thousands of young people. One year later, Bataclan reopened.
We always try to remember where and with whom we were at the moment when something good or bad happened that changed our lives significantly. We did it when the Berlin Wall fell or during the attacks of the 9/11 or when US president Bush declared the war in Iraq.
I perfectly remember where I was when ISIS soldiers attacked Paris once again, exactly one year ago. I was in Berlin with other Erasmus students for a cultural trip. It was my first time in the German capital and I was enjoying every single minute. When we were updated about what happened in Paris, how many people died at the Bataclan and how fear and panic fastly spread along whole Europe, the atmosphere changed a little bit. Many of those who were killed that night were in our age, they were having fun just like us and during ten minutes their lifes were ripped away by mad dogs. There was also an Italian student among the victims, Valeria Solesin. We read the news from our smartphones, we saw videos from the moment ISIS men got into the theater, we listened to the endless shooting. President Hollande called for the state of emergency, controls were intensified in the most important French cities and along the border. The idea of suspending Schengen was taken into consideration in Bruxelles.
Once again we read misleading statements about refugees and migrants, labelled as possible next ISIS member. Once again these statements supported the idea of a "Fortress Europe" in order to protect citizens against terrorism. Politically speaking, these ideas did not desappear, they are constantly argued at a national and European level. But the Erasmus generation - and young people in general - managed to keep calm since the first hours after the Paris attacks. We are not fearless, but we know that we cannot spend our life locked up in our room. We cannot fix what politics created with their "ghetto" and foreign policies, but we can defeat ISIS in our own way. We try to overcome every sort of barriers, we relay on art and on travelling. Because only when we travel or welcome new people in our life we can start seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. Paris got by as well. Bataclan has just reopened, a clear evidence that it is time to bring back the music and try to erase the noise of triggers from there. The British singer Sting has been the first artist who performed there last night. On his Facebook account he wrote:
In re-opening the Bataclan, we have two important tasks to reconcile. First, to remember and honour those who lost their lives in the attack a year ago, and second to celebrate the life and the music that this historic theatre represents. In doing so we hope to respect the memory as well as the life affirming spirit of those who fell. We shall not forget them.
Celebrating life and music: the best way to commemorate those who died, because they were there listening to some good music and enjoying the night. And the best way to send a clear message to ISIS: you cannot defeat us.