Quebec City student honours victims of mosque shooting with 6,000 paper cranes

In Japanese culture, if someone folds 1,000 origami cranes, one wish will come true. So Arthur Thompson de la Chenelière made 6,000 cranes, and with them, a wish for each of the men killed two years ago.

Arthur Thompson de la Chenelière's art piece on display at 2nd anniversary vigil for 2017 attack

High school student Arthur Thompson de la Chenelière folded 6,000 origami cranes and delicately placed them on a map of the world as part of an art piece dedicated to the six men who died in the 2017 Quebec City mosque attack. (Catou MacKinnon/CBC)

Quebec City high school student Arthur Thompson de la Chenelière meticulously folded 6,000 origami cranes to pay tribute to the six men who died in the 2017 mosque shooting.

His art piece was one of several tributes to the victims on display at Université Laval Tuesday to mark the second anniversary of the attack.

In Japanese culture, if someone folds 1,000 origami cranes, one wish will come true. So Thompson de la Chenelière made 6,000 cranes, and with them, six wishes: one for each of the men who died on Jan. 29, 2017.

The 16-year-old then placed the cranes on a map of the world and included his wishes in French and in Arabic.  

"I hope that everyone will remember violent events like that of January 2017, to make sure it never happens again," is one of the wishes.

"I hope everyone in the world learns to love and respect each other," reads another.

Cranes are often considered a symbol of peace and healing. Thompson de la Chenelière said that for him, they represent his wishes for peace and harmony in the world.

Arthur Thompson de la Chenelière placed the cranes on a map of the world, surrounded by his six wishes for peace, translated into French and Arabic. (Catou MacKinnon/CBC)

He said it took him about 300 hours to make the cranes and another 20 hours to put the project together.

"When the killings happened at the mosque, it really troubled me," he said. 

Thompson de la Chenelière said two children of one of the victims, Azzedine Soufiane, attend his school.

Quebec City teen Arthur Thompson de la Cheneliere is one of the many people who is using art as a way to remember the lives of the six men killed at a mosque in Ste-Foy on January 29th, 2017. CBC's Catou MacKinnon spoke with Arthur about the inspiration behind his artwork. We also hear what those close to the men who died had to say about the unveiling of plans for a new permanent public art installation created in their honour. 7:29

"I realized how close these horrors were to me, and I wanted to do something about it," he said. "So I used my project to honour the people that died and denounce the horrors."

The six wishes on the project were translated into Arabic by a member of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec.

Exactly 6,000 origami cranes represent six wishes that 16-year-old Arthur Thompson de la Chenelière has made to commemorate the victims of the Quebec City mosque attack. (Catou MacKinnon/CBC)

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.