A couple on honeymoon in Paris captured 17 incredible images after the attacks.

Newlywed couple Ryan Gielen and Katy Wright-Mead had just arrived in Paris on their honeymoon when the attacks began.

An impromptu memorial for the victims. All photos by Ryan Gielen/Honeymoon in Paris, used with permission.


Disappointed with some of the coverage of the aftermath of the shootings, Gielen, a filmmaker who runs a production company back in the United States, decided to put his camera to use.

"I think it's really easy, cliche, and not entirely true that the city was in a state of shock," Gielen told Upworthy of the media coverage.

What struck the couple the most in the days following the attacks was the abundance — and richness — of conversation taking place.

"There was pain and anguish and sadness and tears, and there were memorials popping up," Gielen said. "People came to grieve, but it seemed to both of us that just as many people were there to engage with one another."

The couple decided to document their trip on their Facebook page, "Honeymoon in Paris," which contains dozens of incredible still frames from Gielen's footage. The frank, intimate images they captured present a city in one of its rawest moments — persevering — through the eyes of two people experiencing it for the very first time.

1. Deborah, the manager of a bistro near the site of the shootings, talks about why she felt she had to reopen the very next day.

"At first I didn't know if I was allowed to open. ... I said, 'I'm going to open, so people will be able to talk, or if they need toilets or something like that," she told the couple in a conversation they later recounted on Facebook.

"I will be open... You have to live... I won't let them scare me."

2. A soccer fan showing the press his ticket from the previous night's game at the Stade de France, where an attack was narrowly thwarted.

"He sought out cameras and then displayed the ticket for as long as they needed. Once the cameras moved on, he went looking for the next," Gielen wrote on Facebook.

3. A tourist notices a series of blood stains on the street near Le Bataclan music venue.

89 people were killed during a standoff at Le Bataclan, the deadliest part of the attacks.

4. A young man placing tributes to the victims on the Monument à la République.

"He circled the ledge of the monument for nearly two hours, placing mourners' flowers, and taping letters, posters and flags, and then just walked off," Gielen wrote.

5. The monument at night, transformed into an impromptu memorial.

"I moved to New York City exactly a month after 9/11, so the atmosphere to me feels familiar in that way," Wright-Mead said. "It feels like a universal moment."

6. A group of total strangers gathers to debate politics, religion, and violence — in the middle of the plaza.

The night after the attacks, the couple encountered a number of spontaneous "salons" — lively arguments over the meaning and significance of the attacks, often between people who had just met.

"It's something really extraordinary that I've never seen before," Gielen said.

7. A Muslim man "playfully kisses a man he was arguing with."

Following the kiss, the duo continued arguing for almost an hour, according to the couple.

"I think it was sort of electric with conversation — intellectual conversation, and people were really alert, but sort of communicative, connected to each other," Wright-Mead said of their experience the weekend following the attacks. "Everyone we talked to was open and willing to talk, and sort of debate. But yeah, I'd say it was high energy, for sure."

8. Another young Muslim man, who spent the evening passionately arguing that the terrorists don't represent Islam.

"I asked, 'Do you feel responsible for explaining Islam, or apologizing for Islam to your people? Is that what you're doing here?'" Gielen said. "And his response was, 'No, I came to town to buy a gift for my girlfriend for her birthday, but in passing by and seeing the debates that were happening, I felt a responsibility to present myself as what Islam really is."

9. Laila, a young Muslim woman, vents her frustration at having to constantly justify her religion.

"French people say, 'Why don't you come to the street with us [to mourn], to come debate with us, to say you are with us...'" she told the couple, "But we don't have to justify or act. ... Of course we are with the French people, we are French. We don't need to say 'Hello, I'm Muslim, I'm here!'"

10. A mourner pushes a camera away.

The media attention was thick, according to the couple, but some of those paying tribute just wanted to be left alone.

11. A man recalls narrowly escaping the scene of the attacks only a few hours before they began.

According to Gielen and Wright-Mead, Theo and his girlfriend had been eating at La Belle Équipe on rue de Charonne, near Le Bataclan, on the night of the attacks.

"We were there for a late lunch ... we left at 6 or 7," he told the couple. "At 9:30, the guys arrive with Kalashnikovs and kill 19 people. ... We feel lucky right now, I think."

12. A bomb scare forced Gielen to take shelter in a building with dozens of others.

Gielen was observing the salons in the Place de la République when rumors of yet another bomb started flying.

"It felt like all 1,500-2,000 people turned and sprinted at us, yelling, 'Bomb! Bomb! Bomb!'" Gielen said. "So the people I was interviewing, myself, we just turned and ran."

The threat later turned out to be a false alarm.

13. A family looking for their daughter after the false alarm.

"Caroline? Caroline?" Gielen recalls hearing them say.

14. Back in the Place de la République, 15 minutes after the bomb scare.

According the couple, the discussions, arguments, and conversations continued as if nothing had happened.

"Nobody's hiding," Wright-Mead said.

15. A young man defies the police in order to hang a French flag on the monument in the Place.

"The crowd chanted 'Bravo! Bravo!' and applauded him. When he came down he was hugged by strangers until the police reached him," the couple wrote on Facebook.

16. Police confronting the young man — as the crowd protests.

"Seeing he was a French student, [they] gave him a polite but firm 'no more climbing' and let him go," Gielen wrote. "The crowd, who showed restraint in equal measure to the police, chanted 'Merci! Merci! Bravo!' applauding the police discretion and parted to let them return to their posts around the Place. It was an extraordinary display of community and communication."

17. A young woman in a cafe, who refuses to be terrorized.

Sophie, who the couple met at Attitude Cafe, talked about resilience in the face of uncertainty.

"We are sitting here, and yes we are afraid another car can come, and kill us," she told the couple, in a conversation they recalled on Facebook.

"But come on — have guts."

More

I'm staring at my screen watching the President of the United States speak before a stadium full of people in North Carolina. He launches into a lie-laced attack on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and the crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!"

The President does nothing. Says nothing. He just stands there and waits for the crowd to finish their outburst.

WATCH: Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after he criticizes Rep. Ilhan Omar www.youtube.com

My mind flashes to another President of the United States speaking to a stadium full of people in North Carolina in 2016. A heckler in the crowd—an old man in uniform holding up a TRUMP sign—starts shouting, disrupting the speech. The crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!"

Keep Reading Show less
Recommended
via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

Policing women's bodies — and by consequence their clothes — is nothing new to women across the globe. But this mother's "legging problem" is particularly ridiculous.

What someone wears, regardless of gender, is a personal choice. Sadly, many folks like Maryann White, mother of four sons, think women's attire — particularly women's leggings are a threat to men.

While sitting in mass at the University of Notre Dame, White was aghast by the spandex attire the young women in front of her were sporting.

Keep Reading Show less
More

Men are sharing examples of how they step up and step in when they see problematic behaviors in their peers, and people are here for it.

Twitter user "feminist next door" posed an inquiry to her followers, asking "good guys" to share times they saw misogyny or predatory behavior and did something about it. "What did you say," she asked. "What are your suggestions for the other other men in this situation?" She added a perfectly fitting hashtag: #NotCoolMan.

Not only did the good guys show up for the thread, but their stories show how men can interrupt situations when they see women being mistreated and help put a stop to it.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture