At least 84 people were crushed to death when a truck ploughed into a crowd of people celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, France on Thursday night. Dozens have been injured and local hospitals have been asking for blood donations. The attacker was killed in shootout with the police.

Coming as it did on the French National Day, it is being seen as an attack on the very idea of the French Republic of the ideas of "liberté, égalité, fraternité". This was the latest in a series of terror strikes in France, from the Charlie Hebdo shooting in January 2015 to the November 2015 terror attacks, where 130 people were killed.

Spot videos those below have captured the scenes from the location in gruesome and gory detail. Both videos are gaining views quickly.


This news report shows the panic following the account and an eyewitness describes the details of the incident.


In the video below, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve offers details of the investigation following the attack. "It must proceed as quickly as possible so bodies might be identified and returned to their families," he said. As a result, 60 police officers and forensic experts were mobilised to take charge of the location.


Twitter and Facebook have already faced lawsuits by people claiming that they knowingly aid the so-called Islamic State.

These cases might be stretching it, but the internet has enabled the spread of information without any kind of filter or context. The videos linked in the article are an example of this. They make terror commonplace when that should not be the case.

And trauma is an emotion that is the hardest to transport. Numerous studies and articles point out that it is an emotion that can only be truly felt by those who are actually experiencing the real circumstances. And maybe not even then.

Cathy Carruth, a scholar and professor, wrote an essay about the trauma called Unclaimed Experience: Trauma and the possibility of history where she said that the real effect of trauma cannot be understood until years after it has occurred. It must be forgotten before the weight of the damage and loss can be ascertained.

A point exemplified by two films made by prominent French filmmaker Alan Resnais.

When making his first documentary, Night and Fog, 10 years after the concentration camps were liberated Resnais found it difficult to simply show footage of the dire conditions of the camp with a voiceover. The footage was important but it needed context and examination. The finished film begins with the haunting images of the landscape in the present day and then proceeds to examine every aspect of the Holocaust.

Scenes shown without context only create outrage and do not allow people to realise everything that went into creating a world where such terror was possible, such terror occurred.

'Night and Fog'.

In another film, Hiroshima Mon Amour, Resnais dealt with the atomic bombings in Hiroshima. In the poignant opening, two lovers – a French woman and a Japanese man –speak about the Hiroshima bombings. While the French woman believes she saw the Hiroshima attacks because she saw images and read the news, the Japanese man repeatedly tells her that she could never have experienced any of the trauma because she did not experience it first hand.

In his book War Is Beautiful: The New York Times Pictorial Guide to the Glamour of Armed Conflict, writer David Shields analysed how beautiful images of war create a false reality and the effect this has on people who see these images.

There is something predatory in the act of taking a picture. To photograph people is to violate them, by seeing them as they never see themselves, by having knowledge of them that they can never have; it turns people into objects that can be symbolically possessed. Just as a camera is a sublimation of the gun, to photograph someone is a sublimated murder

— David Shields

Albert Camus, the French-Algerian absurdist writer, also wrote about the difficulties of imagining the actual damage a tragedy might have caused.

Figures floated across his memory, and he recalled that some thirty or so great plagues known to history had accounted for nearly a hundred million deaths. But what are a hundred million deaths? When one has served in a war, one hardly knows what a dead man is, after a while. And since a dead man has no substance unless one has actually seen him dead, a hundred million corpses broadcast through history are no more than a puff of smoke in the imagination. 

The doctor remembered the plague at Constantinople that, according to Procopius, caused ten thousand deaths in a single day. Ten thousand dead made about five times the audience in a biggish cinema. Yes, that was how it should be done. You should collect the people at the exits of five picture-houses, you should lead them to a city square and make them die in heaps if you wanted to get a clear notion of what it means. Then at least you could add some familiar faces to the anonymous mass. But naturally that was impossible to put into practice; moreover, what man knows ten thousand faces?  

— Albert Camus, The Plague