This past weekend, Francophiles all over the world celebrated Bastille Day, or Le Quatorze Juillet. The French national holiday celebrates the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, a fortress-prison in the heart of Paris that represented royal oppression. This event marked the beginning of the French Revolution.
Tens of thousands of participants flocked to Instagram to showcase the stunning fireworks display at the Eiffel Tower, the military parade through the Champs-Élysées, and general merriment of the festivities.
It’s interesting to see this recurring theme of revolutions, both social and visual. Bastille Day showcases exactly what the Visual Revolution is all about–telling a story in an interesting visual way through photos and videos. Every moment is a story relived and retold: the military parade commemorating the outbreak of the French Revolution; firework celebrations representing their freedom from royal oppression.
Perhaps the most important takeaway from this is that no matter the event, whether it’s the French Bastille Day or American Fourth of July, these stories are cross-cultural, transcending limitations of language and culture. Personifying the adage “a picture is worth a thousand words,” anyone is able to appreciate the rich history of these nations directly through the eyes of the people and snap of the camera shutter.
Social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter are becoming more and more instrumental in the way that news breaks, word travels, and stories are told.
The Visual Revolution is just beginning, as more and more people look to share moments of their lives publicly through social platforms. The integration of sites like Instagram and Vine with brands, publishers, and news sources is growing everyday; it’s only a matter of time before social media solidifies its position as one of the more powerful communication tools, if not the most.
In the meantime, check out some of our favorite images from Instagram and Twitter below as well as other tagged photos/videos through #14Juillet and #BastilleDay!