Egalité! Liberté! Sexualité!
May 7, 2018 11:49 AM   Subscribe

It began with a demand by students for the right to sleep with each other. And it ended in one of the greatest upheavals in French society since the revolution: Paris, May 1968.
One brick thrown in Paris... and its crash was heard around the world. Beauty was in the street with Graffiti, slogans and Posters from the Uprising, many designed and distributed by the anonymous collective L'Atelier Populaire.

Nancy Mitford was in Paris.
In some ways, the revolutionaries of 1968 helped capitalism flourish.
50 years on France is still debating the legacy of the protests which could be defined as Be realistic – demand the impossible.
posted by adamvasco (8 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
be realistic – demand the impossible.


Because nothing is true except that the world we are asked to accept is false. Because nothing is worth laughing at except the fact that nothing is funny anymore. Because the desire begins with the demand to live not as an object of history, but as a subject of history – to live as if something actually depended upon one's actions, and once spoken, that demand opens onto a free street to the sound of people discovering their own power, a frightening and beautiful and superlative …


bereft of ordinary social facts, habits, structures and all the invisible oppressions they represent -

where each moment is both end and creation of the world, a universal cycle complete in itself -

where people have no interest in imitation, only in probing for what they uniquely have to offer -

where people aren't trying to make something happen because that something is already happening -

where everything is interesting because everything seems possible -

which raises the stakes of everyday life all over the world, unleashes a roar, a cacophony that rips up the syntax of everyday life, a ruthless criticism of all that exists, a bringing to life of forgotten desires, a creation of entirely new desires.

Everyone must search for what they love, for what attracts them; a search that will force us into contact with everything we hate because, of course, that's what always stands in the way, so even the smallest obstacle demands a total contestation. A sustained chain reaction, an end of the world …

Like waking up from a bad dream. You look around. You shake off the horror. You laugh at its absurdity. How did it ever seem so real?

A situation that supersedes art, the frame, the stage, the gallery, the screen, the cliques, any limits of presentation and/or performance that restrain creative energy, that deny critical mass, that hold any of it back, because it all must come through.

Or Else We Are All Fucking Doomed.
posted by philip-random at 1:02 PM on May 7, 2018 [6 favorites]

Wow, those posters are really something!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:04 PM on May 7, 2018 [3 favorites]

The poster article includes a link to a larger gallery of images.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:26 PM on May 7, 2018

This is a better link for the posters and full size downloads
posted by adamvasco at 1:47 PM on May 7, 2018

I recommend the first-hand account in the book The Beginning of the End: France May 1968 by Tom Nairn and Angelo Quattrocchi
posted by larrybob at 2:00 PM on May 7, 2018 [2 favorites]

I turned 16 in 1968, and it was a big year for me- first interesting peer group, first girlfriend- so I have been in a 50th-year retrospective all year and enjoying all of these posts.
I remember being aware of the riots, but not in much detail. Most of what I had known until today came from the movie The Dreamers.
posted by MtDewd at 5:45 PM on May 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

At Solidarity we pretty much take May '68 as a blueprint for the kind of revolution we think might be possible here. Obviously one that succeeds and continues, of course. Trade union officials and the Communist Party both acted against the revolutionaries, which is one of the lessons we try and learn from it. There are a lot more of those lessons that more experienced people than me in the org have spent a lot of time on. If we get the chance here, we've got to do everything we can to make it a success.
posted by AnhydrousLove at 10:22 PM on May 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

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