The day we visited the Bataclan theatre, it was hosting the Gnaoua Festival Tour 2017, featuring a compilation of Moroccan spiritual songs and tunes. It seemed entirely appropriate as Gnaoua is known for its healing notes, and the iconic Paris theatre is recovering from a terrorist attack. Bataclan, which remained closed after the attacks on November 13, 2015, was reopened a year later, with a show dedicated to the memory of the 90 people who lost their lives in the attack.
Eighteen months have passed after that horrendous night. Yet, Paris and Bataclan are still weary. The joie de vivre so typical of the city is missing. As we stood watching the preparations for the evening show, one of the organisers asked us, rather rudely, to leave. “You cannot stand here. Step outside,” he said. “If you have a ticket for the event, come back in the evening.” We told him that we were journalists from India and asked him about the terrorist attack. “I have nothing to say to you,” was the response.
Walking out disappointed, we met Laurent Langlois, a schoolteacher from Neuilly-sur-Seine, a Paris suburb. When we told him that we were unceremoniously thrown out, he said the relentless attacks were reshaping French attitudes and etiquettes. “We were not like this. It is not the French way to be rude to visitors. But you must understand that the unending wave of terrorist attacks, especially the November 13 attacks, are changing our socie