Frédéric Boisseau was the janitor at Charlie Hebdo. As such, there is not much I can find about him online. He was not an illustrious artist. He was not famous, until today.
As I sat down to try to write 12 profiles of the 12 Charlie Hebdo martyrs, I came across his name. I thought at first, perhaps he had not really signed up for this. After all, he was apparently sweeping the lobby when they killed him. But, he worked at Charlie Hebdo for 15 years — including both before and after the 2011 bombing. (source)
I can not find any photos of him. I can not find much more about him. For that reason, I wanted to write about him early on. Certainly, when they make the film of the Charlie Hebdo story, nobody famous will play him. Nevertheless, I admire him and mourn him as much as the more well-known players in the tale.
But, he left behind a wife and two children, aged 10 and 12. To them, he was certainly the central player in this story. To me, he is an important character too. I don’t know what he stood for. The writings of Frédéric Boisseau, should they exist at all, are rarely if ever read.
Part of me thinks, this was just a guy at the wrong place, at the wrong time. But, if he worked there for 15 years, there had to be something more to it than that. I really hope that he’s not just the “red shirt” guy on the away team here. The fact is, he did die for something. He died for freedom of expression as much as anyone that day. I only hope that it meant something to him – but whether it did or not, it means something to me.
In every war, this is the guy who gets killed. This is the everyman. This is the guy who got swept up (no pun intended) into a story, into a fight, that he probably did not choose. He might have been collateral damage. I really don’t know.
Perhaps he was a willing participant. Perhaps just a tragic loss. Like I said, I can’t find much about him. But, I refuse to let him be the last name on the list, and I refuse to let those goat-fucking bastards erase him. I’d love it if readers could provide anything they can find about him in the comments.
Frédéric Boisseau, nous nous souvenons de vous.