Anti-Nazism and the Ateliers Populaires:
The Memory of Nazi Collaboration
in the Posters of Mai ’68


Gene M. Tempest, thesis prepared for the B.A. in History, U.C. Berkeley, 2006
Copyright by author; web version hosted 7/2/2008 by Lincoln Cushing/Docs Populi

I would like to thank all the '68ards who shared their stories with me: Pierre Bernard, Pierre Buraglio, Gérard Fromanger, François Miehe, Bernard Rancillac, Guy de Rougemont, Eric Seydoux--merci pour tout; for their comments, encouragement, and inspiration: my poster mentors Lincoln Cushing, who so kindly agreed to publish this piece, and the late Michael Rossman; for their teachings and friendship: professors Susanna Barrows and Ann Smock; my wonderful editor and mom, Laura Richardson, who read and fixed my work; my father, Rone Tempest, who fed me; and Paul Shamble for his love and patience.

“1968 was a turning point in the vision of the Occupation”
— Henry Rousso, Le Syndrome de Vichy[1]

“At the time, I didn’t even know who [Maréchal Philippe] Pétain was.”
— Pierre Bernard, artist at the Arts-Décoratifs’ workshop in 1968[2]

Introduction

Every Thursday night, afficheurs across Paris post the week’s advertisements on billboards, in metro stations, and at bus stops. One Friday morning in early February 2005, a menacing figure brandishing a club scowled down at commuters from behind a shield.[i] This new poster was part of French grocery store chain Leclerc’s latest advertising campaign, “Leclerc fights for your purchasing power.” This particular image, one of three in the series, read “the rise in prices oppresses your buying power.” But what few French commuters remembered[3] was that the frightening figure was not new at all—the advertisement was a rip-off of a poster that the atelier populaire numéro un (“popular workshop number one”) of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts had printed on May 20, 1968.[4]

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During mai ’68, a period of unrest that despite its name spanned May through June 1968, artists and art students set up “popular workshops” in the cities of Toulouse, Caen, Marseille, Bordeaux, and Montpellier.[5] Paris alone had six popular workshops. Four small ones—Faculté des Sciences, Institut d’Art et Archéologie, Faculté de Médecine, and Arts Appliqués[6]—and the two larger, more important ateliers at the nation’s best schools of fine and applied art, the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (Beaux-Arts) and the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts-Décoratifs (Arts-Déco). This paper focuses on the people and the posters that they created at these two institutions.

The posters of 1968 emerged during a poster gap. The French government had used posters extensively in World Wars I and II, but had not politically mobilized artists since, except for electoral campaigns in the 1950s. French artists did not themselves use posters to protest the Algerian or Indochina wars, despite the existence of highly visible popular protest movements. Pierre Bernard, a professional artist in 1968 and a participant in the Arts-Déco atelier, agrees that the 68er posters appeared “in a big emptiness.”[7] In 1968, the poster-making seemed original. Pierre Buraglio, artist at the Beaux-Arts workshop, recalls that “artists and art students thought to do something specific, something specific to their discipline, to their knowledge, and to their experience.”[8]

Unlike in the United States, where posters in the 1960s were often designed as placards to be carried during protests, French posters were intended to be glued on walls. Though a fresh practice in 1968, the French wall poster was part of a forgotten revolutionary tradition more than two hundred years old. As Guy de Rougemont, an abstract artist who worked at the Beaux-Arts’ workshop, points out, “there is that important revolutionary tradition, at least in all Western cultures, that goes very quickly to the poster.”[9]

In the “défense d’afficher” (“posting forbidden”) legislation of July 29, 1881, the French government implicitly recognized the link between posters and revolution. The law, enacted ten years after the Paris Commune of 1871, reflected the same anti-revolutionary urban political spirit as Baron Haussmann’s architectural re-structuring of Paris. Haussmann created for Paris the grands boulevards (“big boulevards”), streets too wide for barricades. Similarly, the law of July 29, 1881 attempted to ban the gluing of posters to the miles of Paris’ broad, bare, masonry walls. In 1968, however, under the famous slogan “il est interdit d’interdire” (“it is forbidden to forbid”), students and artists glued posters and built barricades. Bernard Rancillac, participant at the atelier of the Beaux-Arts, remembers both posters and barricades as “nineteenth century” references, especially since “in our time, with tanks and helicopters and stuff like that, a barricade doesn’t last five minutes.”[10]

If their revolutionary means were anachronistic, the issues the poster artists confronted were fully of the twentieth century. The question of the proper place of political commitment in art arose with renewed force. Since World War II, the term “propaganda” had haunted European governments and artists alike. Bernard notes that propaganda is simply to “propagate, to advance the organism’s ideas,” adding that the term itself “is not negative. It’s taken a negative connotation in the world today.”[11] John Bartlett in his Political Propaganda, defines propaganda as “an attempt to influence the opinion and action of a society.”[12] Rancillac and others agree that posters of 1968 were propaganda: “Why not? You can call them that, yes. Political propaganda, yes.”[13]  Buraglio concurs that “we must accept the label. [It was propaganda] in the sense that effectively it was meant to impose certain ideas […] I am not ashamed to say that I made propaganda.”[14]

Most importantly, however, the discussion of the word in France immediately recalls the Nazi Party.[ii] “I think the word ‘propaganda’ is a Germanic word,”[15] says Buraglio.[iii] François Miehe, member of the Communist Party and participant at the Arts-Déco, says that “of course” the posters were propaganda but “it’s a difficult label to take because, well, it makes people think of the Nazis.”[16] Not only were the posters of 1968 the first political posters to have appeared since Nazi propaganda covered Parisian walls, but the memory of the Nazi Occupation constricted the ateliers’ self-definition.

As the artists from both ateliers remember their late 1960s political activism, they often refer to the 1940s. France’s relationship with her dark Nazi past is a forgetful one. “Occupied France is an amnesiac France,” Miehe notes, “because many people didn’t do anything [against the Nazis] and are ashamed, and those who collaborated have gone into hiding.”[17] However, in his book The Vichy Syndrome, French historian Henry Rousso, scholar of French memory of the Collaboration, suggests that 1968 is “a turning point in the vision of the Occupation.”[18] In fact, the posters of 1968 suggest, as interviews with their creators confirm, that France’s national amnesia extends to—and beyond—1968. This paper examines the artistic and political contexts in which the 68er posters emerged, as well as their workshops’ creative, almost magical atmosphere; and the ateliers’ darker side and final failure to graphically confront France’s collaborationist past.

I. Mai ‘68

A. Political context 

The Algerian war, the French Indochina war and its American counterpart, the Vietnam war, politicized the young French population before 1968. Fromanger notes that
after these French defeats—and the victories of the independent revolutionaries in all these countries—the political climate in France evolved a lot, notably on the Left. An entire generation protested against the Communist Party—they called themselves ‘left of the Communist Party.’ [19]

Strangely, these wars produced no output of posters, though students and artists did participate in protests against the Vietnam conflict. [20] Buraglio remembers that “young people did not participate artistically. […] There was not a poster explosion like the one that was unique to ‘68.” [21]

The Algerian war in particular politicized young men of the 68er generation; many of them served with the French forces in Algeria, since military service was compulsory for males over eighteen. Rougemont, for example, was in Algeria for two years:

There weren’t many alternatives. I was conscripted—that is to say that I had to perform compulsory military service. […] So I had the option of being a conscientious objector (and then I would have been sent to Algeria with specialized forces),  to act like I was crazy and therefore be exempt from military service, or to desert. […] I was the son of a military man—a great Resister. I had a family tradition of being called under the flag. I was supposed to serve my country even though I did not agree. […] I have always been a man of the Left, and I suffered a lot from my service in the Algerian war. In the end, years later, I told myself that if I have been so active politically since, it’s because I’m compensating for the fact that I was, like thousands of kids at the time, sent off to this war that was contrary to my beliefs. [22]

 

Rancillac escaped Algeria by serving in Morocco, but his brother was not so lucky:
I avoided military service in Algeria by three months—and that was a good thing. My younger brother, who also became an artist, served in Algeria. […] When he came back, he sat on a chair without saying anything for an entire year, because of what he had seen, what he had done… […] There exists an entire generation that we don’t talk about much because they themselves aren’t talking. There is an entire generation which certainly had something broken by this war... [23]

For the 68er generation, Algeria was “the war in which we all more or less participated.” [24]

Upon their return from military service, the young men “to the left of the Communist Party” [25] had few political allies. On the eve of May ’68, they
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were alienated from both Charles de Gaulle and the French Communist Party, the twin engines of the Resistance. De Gaulle “represented authority and the past,” [26] and “the student milieu was very anti-Communist, extremely anti-Communist” [27] primarily because of the French Stalinist party’s bureaucratic and conservative nature. Bernard was among the few students who adhered to the Communist Party, but his reasons for doing so were somewhat sentimental: “I was a member in symbolic recognition of the fact that they had resisted the Nazis.” [28] Students were unmoved by the Party’s old-fashioned propaganda and dull events. The Communist-led French labor union’s 1968 May Day poster  is a good illustration of their artistically conservative, unattractive style. [iv] The message is familiar enough, worker unity and international solidarity, but devoid of any visual excitement. Significantly, the ateliers’ posters will look nothing like it.

   

The students felt disconnected from the patriotic resisters of their parents’ generation, even as extreme right groups arose even in the traditionally leftwing French university system. Contemporary fascist groups, such as Occident, printed and distributed political tracts denouncing Communism and encouraging armed struggle.



One such pamphlet features a white soldier charging ahead of the Occident symbol, and carries the message “victory for Occident.” In addition, the tract urges “stop the Communist aggression in Vietnam” above a vicious representation of a bloated North Vietnamese man lumbering towards South Vietnam with a bloody hammer and sickle in his hands. [v] Alain Lenfant, in his article “Anti-Impérialisme et Anti-Fascisme à Nanterre” (“Anti-Imperialism and Anti-Fascism at Nanterre”), notes that violent attacks by the right wing group Occident also increased in the late 1960s. For example, in 1967 at Nanterre, just outside Paris,  “students waiting for the campus restaurant to open were attacked by a group of fascists belonging to Occident.” [29] Occident claimed to be trying to discourage student protest against the Vietnam war, but Lenfant believes that their violence only “pushed the students further to the Left.” [30] Before May, the 68er generation was politically left of Occident, left of Charles de Gaulle, left of the Communist Party, and left out of political and educational decision making.


B. Artistic context

Before 1968, the Parisian art scene as a social milieu was dying, if not dead. Rancillac remembers that “at the time there was nothing at all” [31] going on in Paris. A lively, warm, and exuberant art scene was an ocean away, in New York City. In Paris, “Gaullism weighed heavily on culture;” [32] the ruling party’s commitment to classical and traditional forms made securing funding for experimentation difficult.



New York, however, was open—“You met people very quickly, and very easily” [33] —and at the forefront of the Pop Art movement. Famous American artists and galleries were internationally known. The Art Students’ League, an art school where students worked in informal workshops; the Jewish Museum in Harlem, where “minimalism and Pop Art met;” [34] and, of course, Andy Warhol, were names on young French artists’ lips. Buraglio laughs as he describes “the great paradox [….] we were […] opposed to the United States for its racist foreign policy, but we were fascinated by its artistic production.” [35] Paris at the time was gray, isolated, and “appeared very, very, very unenlightened when compared to New York.” [36]

Art education in France was as dreary and archaic as the Parisian art scene. At the Arts-Déco “we were treated like children,” [37] recalls Miehe. Not only was discipline strict, the curriculum was outdated, and the admission policies were completely rigid. Each year, students were admitted to the class of a single supervising professor. This practice made French art pedagogy “a little—let’s say—tied to the professor’s personality. […] If you were in a bad year, it was sort of too bad for you.” [38] Miehe explains that “the professors were from a period when you made textiles. […] For a young man, they were not at all exciting.” [39] Eric Seydoux, who studied art in New York City at the Arts Students League, points out that at the League “art practices were very free. You didn’t even need to have any diplomas to come work.” [40] French professors may have had prestige, but they were “old assholes,” [41] according to Miehe and many others.



When students left their classrooms for the streets, the walls lining them were mostly blank. Several interviewees recall no political posters at all before 1968. No posters protested France’s Vietnamese and Algerian wars. Worthy of mention, however, were movie theatre posters. Bernard recalls that


There were movie theaters […] in every quartier [neighborhood]. […] The theaters all had their own schedules that they posted in their quartier. So in all the quartiers of Paris there were movie posters, and these were glued to the walls by afficheurs [literally, posters]. [42]



By appearing on walls, the movie advertisements allowed the political posters of 1968 to “inscrib[e] themselves into the normal landscape.” [43] People were accustomed to seeing posters in their neighborhoods, and because the posters were different at each theater, neighborhood identity was visually displayed through posters. In 1968, students demonstrated their intense politicization by the vast numbers of posters they affixed to their neighborhood walls.



Paris’ relative artistic poverty caused artists to search for new definitions of their social role. As a fine painter, “you had to de dead—or almost dead—to show your work in a museum.” [44] If a commercial artist, you were “treated like—I wouldn’t say a slave—but there was no consideration.” [45] Young artists were searching for freedom in what seemed a featureless landscape. Suddenly, in May, Paris became rich, volatile, and creative.



II. Ateliers One and Two

A. Occupants

By mid-May 1968, when a month of instruction still remained, virtually all universities and factories across France were on strike. The strikes began at Nanterre, where on May 3 a government decree had suspended classes after students protested dormitory rules. [46] On that same day, students occupied the illustrious Sorbonne University in the heart of Paris’ Latin Quarter.

Some ten days later, a curious Rancillac wandered down to the newly occupied Sorbonne. He was listening to speakers in a general assembly when a man walked in and called for everyone’s attention. The newcomer’s name was Gérard Tisserand, a member of the recently established atelier populaire des ex-Beaux-Arts. “Stop wasting your time talking nonsense,” he said. “At the Beaux-Arts we need help making posters. All artists are invited.” [47] Rancillac and some others stood up and followed Tisserand: “Bam, I left [the Sorbonne]. I arrived at the Beaux-Arts and I saw that we were making posters. I thought, yes, that’s the best thing to do.” [48]

Artists occupied the Beaux-Arts and printed their first poster on May 14. The school itself, located on the Left Bank at 17 quai Malaquais in the 6th arrondissement, was across the river from the Louvre. To reach the atelier, Rancillac would have walked through the beautiful iron gate at the main entrance. He would have passed through first one, then a second courtyard before arriving in front of the eighteenth-century building that housed the workshop. [49] A crudely painted sign outside announced: “POPULAR WORKSHOP YES / BOURGEOIS WORKSHOP NO.” [50]  

Also on the Left Bank and less than two miles away, [51] in the heart of the student populated Latin Quarter in Paris’ 5th arrondissement, artists had occupied the Arts-Déco since the night of May 13. They did not print their first poster until much later in the month, however, instead passing the time debating educational reform in the courtyard behind their nondescript four-story building. If that got old, the artists could walk a few blocks up the street to the Pantheon, where the general student movement gathered
to listen to speakers. [52]

*


Those who took over Paris’ two premiere art schools were following local and international radical practice. There was the immediate precedent of the student occupations of Nanterre and the Sorbonne. The American example—set by students at Berkeley in 1964—was also available to French students and rebels. Beyond student activism, occupation was part of a much older labor tradition of sit-down strikes and factory occupation. Buraglio remembers that “we wanted to imitate the occupied factories. And occupied factories are not only a French tradition, but also an international one.” [53] As in a factory, management’s university equivalents—professors and administrators—were ejected from or abandoned the Beaux-Arts and the Arts-Déco. Miehe recalls that “the profs had basically disappeared. You never saw the administrators either.” [54] Rougemont remembers that the professors “left. They were thrown out once the school was occupied, and this was very shocking. It traumatized many teachers, who at the time were much older than their students.” [55]

If faculty and administrators were excluded from their schools, who was in them? Surprisingly, though 1968 was supposedly a high water mark of student activism, professional artists—not students—occupied the buildings and ran the workshops. Members of the Beaux-Arts atelier widely confirm Seydoux’s recollection that “there were some students from the Beaux-Arts, but I don’t remember them being in majority.” [56] Fromanger adds that “there were some [students] but not very many—they followed us.” [57] Rancillac dramatically recalls that “we never saw students. Sometimes you saw one who would slip in and try to pick up his portfolio from the school because he was afraid that we were going to burn his drawings.” [58]



At the Beaux-Arts, one group in particular headed the workshop: members of the pre-existing radical art association, the Salon de la Jeune Peinture. Buraglio and Fromanger were both members, and Rougemont was accepted after 1968. Fromanger remembers that “we, the Salon de la Jeune Peinture, made the decision [to occupy the school]. It wasn’t the Beaux-Arts students.” [59] Rancillac, though not a member, insists that “it was mostly them [the Jeune Peinture] who had organized everything. You have to recognize their accomplishments.” [60] Jeune Peinture’s dominance of the atelier is perhaps explained by the fact that its members were older than students, and had more life experience and longer political résumés. Fromanger, for example, was 28 years old in May 1968, and his colleagues were also ten or more years older than university students.



The Salon de la Jeune Peinture was political from its inception. It dates to the liberation of France from Nazi occupation in 1945, [61] and, according to Fromanger “was born of the Resistance—ideas from the Resistance.” [62] France’s liberation was to be symbolically echoed by the painters’ liberation from traditional practice, as well as from Nazi domination. Members of Jeune Peinture not only created pictures, they also conducted debates, hammered out theses, and wrote tracts.



By 1968, Jeune Peinture had adopted the operating methods that would be applied directly to the Atelier Populaire Number One. “There was a logic to what we did at the Beaux-Arts, and it came directly from the last two years of art practice at the Jeune Peinture,” [63] recalls Fromanger. For example, the Jeune Peinture artists collectively created many works and left them unsigned, as they would do when making the posters of ‘68. Buraglio remembers that “we had worked in groups [in Jeune Peinture] and had thought up treatises and questions, and discussed political subjects together.” [64] Jeune Peinture, like the later atelier, also held general assemblies—though “in the case of the Jeune Peinture the general assembly was obviously limited to members, so, a dozen artists” [65] —to discuss and criticize paintings. At Jeune Peinture, individuals rarely used their own words in their publications. When selecting slogans, they often choose prefabricated translation of Chinese Communist maxims rather than invent their own. [66] During the events of May and June 1968, they imported workers’ slogans and politicians’ words for poster texts. Buraglio sums up the practice: “In the popular poster workshop, we would also submit work to the critique of all. And we would not invent slogans, they arrived.” [67] Most importantly perhaps, members of Jeune Peinture were already politically active well before the May events. They were experienced in using art politically and emphasized “the political before the aesthetic character” of their works. [68]



At the Arts-Déco, age and experience also played a role in the activists’ core composition; night school students like Miehe were particularly especially involved. He remembers,


I was able to study as a ‘salaried student.’ At the time at the Arts-Déco there was what were called night classes. And so you could do your studies parallel to the day students, by coming to school and studying from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM—or 11:00 PM—and all day on Saturdays. […] During the day I worked, but I was also a student. I worked construction to support my painter’s life. [69]



Miehe adds, “we were a minority—but a very close, very united minority. We were friends with one another. […] Night school students were politicized, unlike the day students who largely weren’t.” [70]



When Arts- Déco was occupied, young alumni returned to their alma mater and joined the night school students at the atelier. Many of these graduates brought with them skills they had acquired in the advertising industry. Bernard, for example, had worked on advertisements for Woolmark, a French textile company, and was “always painting things on wool, always saying that wool was fabulous.” [71] Importantly, advertisements—the kind of illustrations that the Arts-Déco graduates had been doing—were unsigned. [72] Therefore, like members of Jeune Peinture, many at the Arts-Déco were accustomed to working collectively and anonymously.



A more specific kind of alumnus was also important at Arts-Déco: those who had participated in the Polish post-graduate exchange program. These fellowship students, of which there were ten annually, [73] worked under the famous poster artist Henryk Tomaszewski in Soviet Poland. Bernard marks the Polish experience as his political awakening. “It really, really changed my life. Tomaszewski’s teaching was a complete revolution. It was the discovery of ideological and moral commitment in the image.” [74] Those who had studied in Poland also brought back with them collective techniques they would establish at the Arts-Déco poster workshop in May. “We implanted a practice that came from Poland,” recalls Bernard. “We wanted to have a product that was evaluated by the group.” [75] He concludes that “Poland was thought of a lot by those people whom I knew at the Arts-Déco workshop. […] As far as I am concerned, the artistic influence is primarily the Polish experience.” [76]



These groups—at the Beaux-Arts, Jeune Peinture members; at the Arts-Déco, night school  students and alumni—were the core poster revolutionaries that occupied both schools. [vi] Seydoux notes that “there naturally developed a leadership of ten to fifteen people who were always present. Well, in these sorts of movements, it’s always a little like that.” [77] Buraglio calls this core group “the permanents,” [78] and they literally were. They worked, ate, and slept at the schools. At the Beaux-Arts where Buraglio worked, there were usually ten to twenty “permanents” in the workshop day and night,  while at the big general assembly in the middle of the afternoon, numbers could swell to 1,500 people. [79]



In principle, both workshops—ateliers populaires—were open to all. Seydoux observes: “Anyone could come in.” [80] Famous, established artists dropped in, and mere passersby as well. Seydoux remembers that “there were a lot of [people] coming through—they were curious. A lot of artists also came to see what was happening. Those who came by would work for one or two hours and then leave.” [81] Both art schools were places of “constant coming and going. The curious, those who came to work, others who came to watch or to have fun.” [82]



Laborers and factory workers were conspicuously absent from both ateliers, although union representatives often came in to request posters. Indeed, most of the ateliers’ posters were printed to fulfill orders from the unions, who brought their own slogans. The ateliers provided designs, materials, and labor—all free of charge. But actual proletarians were rare inside the workshops. The youth movement, which tried constantly to connect with the working class, failed to integrate them into poster production. More broadly speaking, several different unions were striking for better wages at this time, so the artists tried to support their immediate struggle  by providing free propaganda posters, a comradely gesture that was not reciprocated—workers’ organizations made no donations.



The artists did not succeed in converting the workers to their more extreme political perspective. Miehe notes that “there was a sort of divorce with the workers’ movement. The student movement preached at them. The student leaders thought that they could tell the workers how to make a revolution.” [83] The posters said “’Workers and Students United’ [but] the students and workers were never united,” recalls Rancillac. “To each his problems.” [84]

Miehe remembers that mai brought

some magnificent protests, but these were never unified. There were the students on one side, in front, and then the workers were behind. Generally that’s what happened. Rarely were the workers in front and the students behind. We never mixed. We never mixed. [85]

In mai, all ateliers were in universities; not a single poster workshop was ever set up in a factory, although several striking factories were on the Parisian periphery and many atelier members took time to hand out leaflets there. It is hard to avoid noticing a certain level of condescension on the artists’ part.



B. Two workshops

In 1969, the British publishing house Dobson brought out in French—and shortly afterwards in English—a large-format red-covered volume, L’Atelier Populaire Présenté par Lui-Même (“The Popular Workshop Presented by Itself”). The posters reproduced in the book were exclusively products of the Beaux-Arts atelier, whose members also wrote all the text. Since its publication, L’Atelier Populaire Présenté par Lui-Même has become the authority on the posters of 1968, cited in virtually all scholarship on the subject. The existence of this book helps explain why the story and work of the Arts-Déco and other ateliers are not remembered. 

As Michael Seidman remarks, the posters “are remarkable by virtue of the transformative power that much of the media, many scholars, and ordinary French people have attributed to them. Whatever the historical truth, they have become a symbol of a youthful, renewed, and freer France.” [86] A great many coffee-table books exploit the ongoing appeal of the 1968 French posters but few—excepting Laurent Gervereau’s excellent work [vii] —shed new light on the workshops. Patrick Moissac speaks for many when he writes, in Mai 68 La Révolution s’Affiche, that the posters he presents are “from the French heart, and sincerely express the preoccupations of a generation.” [87]


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The wide circulation of L’Atelier Populaire Présenté par Lui-Même brought French posters to the world, a world that eagerly appropriated and
expropriated them. The immediate impact was on the international leftwing youth movements. Posters appeared in American activists’ rooms across the U.S., on t-shirts and at demonstrations. The posters’ legacy can be traced throughout the world and down the last thirty-six years. The Situationist idea of détournement, literally “turning around” or “diverting,” can be applied here: the Beaux-Arts posters of 1968 survive, sometimes grotesquely altered, to the present day. For example, in June 2006 French students protesting the Contract de Première Embauche (C.P.E) printed a détournement of the Beaux-Arts original “Sois Jeune et Tais Toi” (“Be Young and Shut Up”). [viii] In the modern version, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin muffles a student; in the original, Charles de Gaulle was the suppressor.



In May 1968, de Gaulle’s leftwing opponents were young, but certainly not quiet. In the ateliers they argued with each other about everything. It was difficult, Rougemont remembers, even to decide what kind of music to play at the Beaux-Arts: “We’d put on the Rolling Stones, but there was always one guy—I won’t name him because it wouldn’t be nice—who would run over to turn off the Rolling Stones and turn on North Vietnamese war chants.” [88] The young New Left, as well as the entire spectrum of the Old Left were represented in the occupied schools—from Trotskyists to Maoists, from anarchistic Situationists to outright Stalinists. This diversity was best displayed in the general assemblies.



The assemblies were held once a day at both schools, usually in the mornings in their courtyards. [89] At the Beaux-Arts, artists and students usually met in the interior courtyard next to the main building, but could also, if the assembly was large, overflow into the courtyard adjoining the street. At the smaller Arts-Déco, participants met in their tiny courtyard behind the school building. The lively, sometimes long-winded polemics revolved around a wide range of questions, including the role of the artist in society, the need for educational reform, and “urban problems, and questions like ‘what is graphic design’s purpose?’ There was important intellectual work.” [90] During assemblies, artists, students, and anyone else present also voted on proposed posters. At the Beaux-Arts and also, at first, at Arts-Déco, sketches under discussion were hung on laundry lines in the courtyard, a practice that the Arts-Déco members brought back from their Polish exchange program. [91] In the afternoon, artists drew the approved posters onto silk-screens and printed at night. Volunteers picked up the finished posters in the morning and took them to the streets of Paris and beyond.



The assemblies had a creative ambience, recalls Buraglio, and “extraordinary slogans […] came from the general atmosphere of the general assembly.” [92] He also notes that “we had to have an almost military self-discipline because otherwise it would be all yelling and fighting, and we would not get anything done.” [93] Indeed, discussions often were prolonged and unproductive. Fromanger remembers a sketch of his that was rejected after eight hours of debate in the Beaux-Arts general assembly. [94] Sometimes, the reasons for opposition to a poster were trivial, mere matters of personal taste. “U.U.U.,” a collection of film footage from the events, at one point shows a man in glasses who looks like Woody Allen, speaking against the poster “Be Young and Shut Up:”


“Against it, I would say that the graphic is absolutely disgusting. It is fifty years behind the times.” [95]


The direct democracy of the assembly made the poster output politically inconsistent. The Beaux-Arts had no quotas for the representation of groupuscules (leftist political slang for small factions). Votes depended entirely on the chance composition of the assembly on a given day. As Seydoux notes, “certain posters were passed at certain times because there were more pro-Chinese and fewer Trotskyites, or the other way around…” [96]



The output of the Arts-Déco, on the other hand, was much more consistent because decision-making was considerably less democratic. The smaller Arts-Déco was politically more homogeneous than the Beaux-Arts. Miehe observes that “the student population at the Arts-Déco was unified from the beginning to the end.” [97] The school itself was “very unified because it was a little school of 500 students.” [98] As at the Beaux-Arts, the assembly was open to the public, and rich discussions occurred there, but very early, the Arts-Déco poster artists withdrew their works from general consideration. [99] After the printing of the first three Arts-Déco posters, discussions and votes were moved from the courtyard to the poster workshop in the hallway of the fourth floor. [100] This move restricted decision-making almost entirely to the poster artists themselves. Further, because of the smaller number of participants in poster discussions, it was easier to stack the vote. Bernard recalls that “you went to get allies to be able to pass [a poster], to be able to overwhelm those against it.” [101]



*



The leaders lived at the ateliers for the duration of the May events. “We occupied the school day and night […] We lived there. We slept there. We ate there.” [102] People slept on donated mattresses “when they were tired,” [103] usually “from 4:00 to 9:00 in the morning,” [104]   after the posters had been printed, and while volunteers were posting them.



The artists also ate on the spot, as they seldom had time to leave the schools. During the day, sympathetic neighborhood bistros gave food to the Beaux-Arts, [105] while later in the evening, nightclubs donated baguettes and snacks. [106] The atelier also purchased food with donated funds:


We had a band that played outside and got donations. And we also gave a little money ourselves. We got donations, too, from storekeepers. At the time, across the street, there was a convent. The nuns gave us communion wafers […] It’s horrible to eat communion wafers, it’s horrible. [107]



Women and girls, according to Fromanger, played an important role: they brought in food and also cooked on location. [108] Eventually, the Beaux-Arts women set up a cafeteria. [109] Despite these efforts, Miehe remembers that “it was very rustic. We got skinnier.” [110]



Women were not among the leaders of the ateliers though they did participate enthusiastically in most of the activities, including some that were quite dangerous. The absence of women in the leadership was not especially odd at the time. The Salon de la Jeune Peinture, which dominated the Beaux-Arts, had no female members. Buraglio says “that’s just how it was.” [111] The absence of women in leadership positions does not mean that they were absent everywhere. They participated in the production line, and in the final dangerous disposition of the posters.



Fromanger also remembers that


People had sex on the roofs! It was crazy—crazy. We did an incredible amount of work, but we also made an incredible amount of love. […] It was more than a liberation of working, it was also the pleasure of being together, of loving another […] This mixture made for the posters’ success. The posters were loving posters. [112]

They may have been “loving posters,” but historian Laurent Gervereau points out that the posters did not address major feminist issues. [113] Only two of the movement’s posters graphically represent women: “Beauty is in the Street,” which shows a women throwing a cobblestone, and “Submit or Resist and Beat Capitalism,” a multi-color close-up of a women crying. The last, however, was printed in Toulouse, not Paris.



Atelier
members did try to solve one feminist issue on site, by providing child care at the occupied schools. [114] This was especially important since the resident leaders often had wives and young children. Buraglio “had a child of five, so a nursery was needed.” [115] Parents who did not use these nurseries found other places for their offspring. Because Miehe was “glued to the school,” [116] he housed his child with an Arts-Déco professor of perspective, who was obviously not working at the time. Bernard sent his two-year-old daughter to the south of France to stay with his parents-in-law, so that he “could make [his] revolution in peace.” [117] However, exporting children to willing grandparents was not an option for all the revolutionaries, since at the time a severe shortage of gasoline made private transportation difficult and the public modes were on strike.



The occupiers of the schools tried hard to meet every need. At the Beaux-Arts, students from Parisian medical schools even set up and ran an infirmary to treat those wounded in street fights with cops and rightwingers. [118] The participants remember the ateliers fondly. Seydoux recalls that “it was a real party—very creative. I have all sorts of good memories. We made so many posters. We did things that were completely new at the time.” [119] Miehe notes that “mai ’68 was a time of incredible work—at least at the Arts-Déco!” [120] Fromanger adds that “everyone was on strike except for us.” [121]



Even with such bon esprit and well-organized support, however, atelier participants rarely had time for political activities outside of the workshops. Buraglio notes succinctly that he had no time because he was “very, very involved” [122] in posters. Miehe adds that “we never left the school.” [123] In May, poster-making was a full-time job.


C. Posters

Fromanger remembers the first day of the Beaux-Arts’ occupation, May 14, and how poster-making began with a  misunderstanding. The founding impulse was to do something to financially support the ongoing strikes. Most of the occupiers were members of the Jeune Peinture, a group accustomed to selling their work and donating the proceeds to a good cause. In this spirit, Fromanger helped print a lithograph, “Usines Universités Union” (“Factories Universities Union”) [ix] , in white letters on a purple ground—as a fundraiser:
I was among those who were supposed to take these lithographs to galleries to sell them. We didn’t think of them as posters at all. Not at all. It was just like our usual practice [at the Jeune Peinture]. We made lithographies, or drawings, for such-and-such group, or cause, or whatever, all the time […] So we were used to it and we were just continuing. We said, ‘oh, we’re occupying the school? Well, we’re not going to fuck around, we’re going to work.’ […] We were going to donate profits to the workers and high school students on strike… So I [went downstairs to] the courtyard with my stack—and so did two or three others—but before we even got to the street, students took my posters—I mean, my lithographies! And I say, ‘Hey, wait! They’re for… Oh, you suck!’ And, bam, they glued them to the wall. […] And everyone was delighted to see ‘U.U.U.’ They said, ‘Oh, yes, wonderful!’ It was like an echo of what had happened during the day—of what had been said during the protests, and now it was written on the walls. People said, ‘Wonderful! We need to make more!’ And we said, ‘Make more? That’s impossible.’ [124]

image 6

Indeed, the complex chemical lithographic printing processes are extremely labor intensive and time consuming. The Jeune Peinture artists at Beaux-Arts had only been able to print 30 copies of “U.U.U”—and this had taken all afternoon. [125] Fromanger correctly concludes that had the workshop been based on lithography “we wouldn’t have done it. We would have said, ‘they were to sell,’ and then we would have stopped everything. [Lithography] was too difficult. It took too long, and it was useless.” [126] Luckily, a less onerous printing technique was available, making rapid poster production possible. The Americans called it silk-screening, and it came from the United States.

Silk-screening permits the making of a large number of prints with very simple equipment and almost no training. The technique requires only a piece of silk large enough to cover a wooden frame, some ink, paper, and an operator. Design can be painted directly onto the screen, creating a photo-negative effect.

Silk-screening first crossed the Atlantic during WWII when American GIs used it to make signs for camps and roads. [127] The frames were light, well suited to a mobile military. But silk-screening had little impact on Parisian artistic practice. By 1968, however, a few French galleries were using it in a limited way to reproduce artistic works. Seydoux worked at one of these, Paris Arts, run by Jacques de Broutelles and Pierre Lunay. [128]



Rougemont, who had been a client of Paris Arts, brought his friend Seydoux and silk-screening to the Beaux-Arts.
“The atelier

members,” recalls Rougemont,

were in their general assembly, and I stood up and said, ‘Listen, I have recently discovered a much faster printing process that is possible with fewer materials. It’s called silk-screening.’ So they all turned towards me and said, ‘Very well, you will be responsible for setting up a silk-screening workshop,’ And so I said ‘yes,’ but I was thinking ‘What a responsibility!’ After all, I only had an amateur's knowledge of the process. So I left the school, and I just happened to run into Eric [Seydoux]. I said this just happened, I agreed to set up a silk-screening workshop for our painter friends. The next day Eric and I went to see his boss [at Paris Arts] and he gave us large screens and some inks. And so with Eric, who knew the technique very well, […] we arrived at the Beaux-Arts. [12

Buraglio confirms that “few people knew the process,” [130] but this was not a problem because according to Seydoux “it was very simple. I mean, everyone could learn the technique in a little more than a few minutes.” [131]

Silk-screening arrived somewhat later at the Arts-Déco, which did not print its first poster until May 29. [132] From the start, these were reactions to the Beaux-Arts work. Miehe remembers that “we saw [their] posters in the streets. They made us want to make some.” [133] Unusually for the day, “professors really helped us. There was […] an engraving professor who helped us set up our first silk-screening workshop,” [134] Miehe recalls, quickly adding that “they weren’t calling the shots. It seemed like they had become students again!” [13

Silk-screening was key in both workshops’ impressive poster output. Instead of thirty lithographies a day, the Beaux-Arts silk screening produced 100 to 200 posters per rig per hour, [136] several thousand per night, [137] depending on how many screens were in use. The Arts-Déco’s production was more modest: also 100 to 200 posters per hour, but only two to three hours of printing per night. [138] Thanks to silk-screening, posters were easy to make, and could provide almost immediate reaction to and commentary on the issues of the day. “We were able to react at once,” [139] Seydoux recalls. For example, in a celebrated and shocking denunciation, President Charles de Gaulle derogated the student protesters as a ‘chienlit.’

image 7

“He meant ‘it’s shit, it’s disorder,’ and it was very insulting,” Buraglio recalls. “Well, when he said that we had an immediate answer for him.” [140] The next day the students’ response appeared in poster form, “La chienlit c’est lui” [x] (literally, “he shits in the bed;” or, figuratively, “he is the disorderly one”).

Silk-screening also largely dictated the posters’ style. According to Buraglio, the process “created a certain style—though there had been no intention of style.” [141] The workshops’ hit-or-miss funding meant that there was usually only enough money to buy one color of ink. [142] Most of the silk-screen operators mastered only the most basic of techniques so “we didn’t know how to do complicated things,” [143] remembers Miehe. They “weren’t able to make gray, so the posters were always black or white. You can make gray with silk-screens, but it’s complicated. We were in the pre-history of silk-screening.” [144]

Not only did they lack the technical knowledge to create complex posters, their makeshift equipment was of poor quality. The tables they printed on, for example, were not designed for silk-screening and were not smooth. [145] The pace of the printing was so fast, and the paper so light, that the posters were rough and full of imperfections. Sometimes the entire assembly line at the Arts-Déco had to stop to touch up some of the posters. [146] Rougemont reiterates that the poster designs “needed to be simple. There were not a lot of nuances possible.” [147]

Thus both workshops’ output bears the fraternal resemblance of 68er style, defined first of all by the pressures of time and production processes. After all, both workshops were using simple machines run by novices all working at break-neck speed. The content was similar too. Most of the posters was strike-support material ordered by unions that supplied their own slogans. As Miehe points out, these orders “gave a certain homogeneity,” [148] although the ateliers occasionally put out a poster reflecting with their own sentiments.

Yet the posters were effective. The first were the best, Buraglio maintains, observing that “later production became slightly more sophisticated, and allowed for producing more, but I’m not sure that they gained anything in power.” [149]

Although the silk-screened posters were incontestably the stars, they were not alone on the stage. The most popular posters were sometimes reproduced in large numbers on offset presses. Striking printers who had occupied their workplaces ran the machines off campus. [150]

As the artists became more proficient with silk-screening, they began to experiment with photo emulsion techniques using an original photograph as the basis for the poster image. [xi] Although these images were more sophisticated, the operators still had to improvise their equipment; at the Beaux-arts, artists used the big glass door on the ground floor to expose their images. [151] Rancillac, who had worked with photographic projection for his personal paintings before 1968, was primarily responsible for these posters. [152] He “imagined that with the technique—with photographs and a projector—you could make something really lively.” [153] However, the atelier was not willing to adapt: “No, no, it didn’t happen that way,” [154] Rancillac remembers.



“The point was little text, few effects, simple means—and therefore a sort of economy,” Miehe recalls. “We could have gotten bored. But it didn’t last long enough for that, thank God.” [155] Buraglio, who thought that simple posters were most powerful, won the day.

Unarguably, the ateliers established silk-screening in France. As Miehe says, “silk-screening was born out of the events of mai ’68.” A year later, the Beaux-Arts atelier’s work appeared in L’Atelier Populaire Présenté par Lui-Même, which included a manual for silk-screening one’s own design. Ironically, while introducing France to silk-screening, the ateliers were unwilling to broaden the experiment to include more complex silk-screening techniques.



*

A silk-screening workshop—however primitive—must have ink, screens, frames, and paper. During mai, the artists either purchased ink with donated money, [156] or received it directly from sympathetic printers. [157] Art galleries and print shops also donated the silk and frames, though sometimes ateliers members simply bought or made them. [158] Miehe recalls that “with a stapler we made wooden frames. It was as rustic as that.” [159] Acquiring paper was more complex.

In Paris in 1968, some newspapers were still printed inside the city limits, [160] well within reach of the ateliers. Newsprint, although poor quality paper, was potentially a bargain for mass production. The end of a newspaper roll, some fifty to several hundred meters, is virtually useless for newspaper printing; it is damaged, having been compressed by its many outer layers. [161] These remnants made their way to the ateliers. [162] Miehe recalls that atelier members “went with a deux-chevaux [a notoriously bad, small, cheap French car] that would sag under the paper’s weight when [they] came back to the school with the rolls.” [163] Because Miehe was a member of the Communist Party as well as a student union officer at the Arts- Déco, the Communist daily, L’Humanité, provided all Arts- Déco’s paper. [164] The Beaux-Arts did not have one particular newspaper supplying their workshop; the paper source depended on who went to get it and what connections that person had.

Ink, silk, frames, and paper were collected catch-as-catch-can, but the ateliers’ production lines were highly organized, often described as industrial. [165] Production was, as the sheer numbers suggest, “very intense,” [166] “very efficient.” [167] At the Beaux-Arts, for example, the paper was cut to size before printing and stacked under the frames [168] so the operator could print a poster, raise the frame, let the poster be removed, lower the frame, and print again. [169] When the frame was raised, volunteers plucked off the poster, normally hanging it to dry from laundry lines, [170] though occasionally laying it flat in one of the many empty classrooms. [171] In the rush from printing to drying, sometimes the posters’ wet ink stuck to itself in hands of the inexperienced volunteers. [172] By ateliers’ standards, this was not much of a problem, and such posters were simply unstuck and used anyway.

At the Arts-Déco, posters did not get stuck to themselves. Bernard recalls that:


We had put a magnificent system into place. We were on the fourth floor—the school is a four-story building with two monumental staircases with empty stairwells. [xii] So we had put ourselves on the fourth floor, on tables to print silk-screens. The paper was printed [without being cut] and then lowered into the stairwells with weights. When it got to the bottom […] it was dry. There was another table in the hallway downstairs, and they took the paper and cut it, putting them in packets of five or ten [posters]. It was a little printing factory that was very impressive. [173]



The impressive system did mean, as Miehe points out, that sometimes “you found yourself at the bottom, cutting paper all alone in the dark basement.” [174] But volunteers even for such dreary jobs were not hard to find: “What we always had plenty of was volunteers.” [175]



Though run by artists—some of whom were famous—neither atelier had a fixed division of labor. Rather,


“we did a little bit of everything. There really was no division of labor. There weren’t those who did the drawings, those who cut the paper, those who inked the screens, those who dried the posters, those who were at the doors, those on guard duty... No. [176]

In the ateliers, artistic ego was put aside and everyone worked together. More experienced artists usually performed the more technically challenging jobs, like photo emulsion silk-screens, but everyone participated in poster design and printing. Anyone in the atelier could design a poster, and if the assembly approved it, anyone could help print it.

image 8

Few ateliers members, however, participated in their posting. The ateliers artists were too busy creating the posters to go out and put them up in Paris. It almost goes without saying that posters made to support strikes in faraway regions of France were picked by the interested parties and taken away. Buraglio recalls a poster, for example, that was done for the “marins pêcheurs” [xiii] (deep sea fishermen) in Brittany. “We couldn’t go to Brittany,” [177] he explains.

In Paris itself, posting was not only a time-consuming activity, it was also somewhat dangerous and completely illegal. It was a provocation. Rougemont recalls that “we had to be very careful with poster transportation by car, because cars were constantly stopped. There were roadblocks all over Paris. And if [the police] discovered posters in your trunk, then you were in big trouble.” [178] Posting usually went on at night, and once one left the car with the posters the danger increased; one had to be alert not only for the cops but also for rightwing extremists.

Buraglio remembers: My wife was a [poster-gluing] specialist. She had been trained in the Israeli army, and she came from a military background. She was a very small little lady, but she had enormous physical courage—much greater than mine. I was afraid. I was afraid of being attacked, afraid of… We were risking quite a lot. [179]

Poster gluing was dangerous in part because the establishment and the Right thought that the posters themselves were dangerous. The posters were being noticed, and discussed; they were having an impact on French citizens.

*
What effect did the posters have in the streets? “They were a huge success right away,” [180] says Bernard. Fromanger adds that  they had a tremendous effect. Everyone was looking at them. The big advertising companies […] said ‘it’s too bad [student movement leader Daniel] Cohn-Bendit is not with us!’ No one was looking at ads anymore. We [the movement] only needed 40 posters in Paris […] to be better than 10,000 posters for ‘sweat oil,’ or what’s-it-called butter, or the small camembert, or the low-priced thingee. People were only looking at our posters! Ours were funny, […] new, and in a different style. [181]

The posters provoked conversation in the streets. “People started to talk to each other,” Rancillac remembers. “What was wonderful was that people talked to each other. Before people didn’t.” [182] Bernard, too, adds,


people talked to each other. They would see a poster and say, ‘What the hell is this crap?’ or ‘This is wonderful!’ I remember people talking amongst themselves constantly at intersections where they’d stopped to watch. [183]



Asked if Charles de Gaulle ever saw the posters, Bernard replied, “we didn’t see him anymore. We didn’t see him; he had disappeared […]. The posters were in the street, and he didn’t go down into the streets.” [184]

Not only did the posters influence the streets on which they were found, these same streets influenced the posters. People came to the ateliers before or after protests, bringing with them slogans for or from the marches. The streets echoed in the posters, which did not speak for the movement but used its very words. The ateliers did not lead the movement, they listened to it.



image 9 image 10

Graffiti, of which there was a great creative outpouring in mai ’68, also influenced posters. As noted in Les Murs ont la Parole:  Journal Mural Mai 68 graffiti on the Beaux-Arts’ walls became slogans on posters. Two Beaux-Arts scribbles, “Frontières = répression” and “Céder un peu c’est capituler beaucoup,” [185] appear on posters. [xiv]

Of course, after posters were glued on walls,  they were written on. Sometimes people added clarifications. To a poster protesting a rise in the price of food,  someone added in ballpoint pen: “coffee, sugar, canned goods… financial support (even 1 [Franc] is useful).” [186] Passersby also sometimes altered or contradicted a poster’s message, or simply added a comment or question. One poster that urged “replace old quotas” was altered to read “shatter old quotas.” [187] Parisian pedestrians did not see posters as final, static products. Rather, mai’s posters were part of ongoing dialogues.

The posters’ anonymity facilitated these conversations. These were not works of art in the street, but just parts of the streets, or as Rancillac notes, “part of the landscape.” [188] Although the artists saw themselves as “all stubborn individualists,” [189] the ateliers were collectives. Rancillac says that signing “wasn’t important, and we didn’t have time. We weren’t going to sign—that’s a bourgeois practice. It’s commercial. It’s for sales.” [190] The posters—except for that first lithographic fundraiser—were gifts, not commodities.



The identity of individual artists might have not mattered, but the ateliers marked their posters. Both used a variety of stamps to identify their products. Though these stamps have escaped commentary in most works on the posters of 1968, they hint at the bitter rivalry between the two schools. And under some circumstances, they function as signatures: “The only signature was ‘atelier populaire des Beaux-Arts. The stamps were collective.” [191]



The Beaux-Arts had three stamps that volunteers applied by hand after the posters dried. In chronological order of their appearance, the stamps were “Ecole Nouvelle Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. 17 quai Malaquais, VIe,” which contained the  Beaux-Arts’ full address and was obviously intended to attract visitors; the second read, “Atelier populaire ex-Ecole des Beaux Arts” in white on a gray background; and the third simply stated, “Atelier populaire.” [192]



The atelier of the Arts-Déco also used stamps, but only, according to participants, to distinguish their posters from those of the Beaux-Arts. [193] Miehe recalls that

There really was something really shared—at least at the Arts-Déco. A real community, let’s say. I know the authors of practically every single poster that we did at the school, but I just can’t imagine how someone could say ‘I did that one.’ We would have laughed in his face. Because, yes, he’s the one who did it, but he did it with us. He did it because we said it was okay and because we helped him… Our work really was collective, and I’ve never seen anyone admit authorship. […] I’ve never seen anyone say, ‘Oh, I did that one.’ [194]



Relations between the two art colleges had not been warm before 1968, and during mai the inter-school rivalry worsened, occasionally shading towards violence. The poster stamps are small visual hints of an underlying “very bad relationship” [195] between the two ateliers. “In my opinion,” says Buraglio of the Beaux-Arts, “[the Arts-Déco workshop] didn’t have the same importance. It came later.” [196]



Expressing what may be a contradiction, Buraglio also observes that the Beaux-Arts nickname “number one” did not mean that it was the premiere workshop, best in the country:


We tried to start others [workshops]—that was the idea. We wanted thousands of poster workshops. It was in a very Chinese spirit. We didn’t succeed, but the idea was for ateliers in factories, neighborhoods, everywhere. [197]



However, instead of first of many, the Beaux-Arts atelier’s numerical name seems to have remained a sign of competition, not cooperation.



Another sign that political ideology was not standing up to reality was that the ateliers were not “populaire” (of the people) or open to differing political opinion. “We lived in [the schools] like in fortresses,” [198] recalls Miehe. Most often, this meant defending their strongholds from right-wingers. Yet Miehe, who was a Communist leader at the Arts-Déco, remembers


one day I was crossing the courtyard at the Beaux-Arts […] and I felt something strange that someone was shoving into my back. I turned around: it was one of the Trotskyite leaders of the Beaux-Arts who hated me because he knew I was a Communist—and Trotskyites and Communists historically hate each other. He was holding a bullet in his hand, and said to me, ‘I’ve got one for you if you come back here.’ [199]

The idealized anonymity did not stand the test of time. Though Miehe says that the Arts-Déco artists never betrayed the collective ideal, after 1968 Rancillac of the Beaux-Arts claimed authorship of “Nous Sommes Tous des Juifs et des Allemands” (“We are all Germans and Jews”) and signed it. [xv] When asked thirty-six years later why he did so, he replied: “Everyone knew it already.” [200]



In part, everyone knew who did what because, despite the collective ideology and primitive techniques, artists retained their personal styles. [201] Some established artists participated in the ateliers without committing themselves to a design. Fromanger remembers working with a famous artist who just cut the paper at the Beaux-Arts. [202] Rougemont, who was an abstract painter, never designed a poster, [203] only printed them, cleaned, and swept the Beaux-Arts workshop. Rancillac, however, did not set aside his artistic identity, although he did not announce his authorship until after the collectives dispersed at the end of June.



Though Rancillac’s signature angered his erstwhile Beaux-Arts comrades, his action was somewhat less offensive because it occurred after June. Poster profiteering, on the other hand, plagued both workshops from the day printing began,  disillusioning many workshop leaders. Fromanger bitterly recalls:


It was my first adult vision of the world. […] I fell on my ass. In the middle of mai ’68! Painters are a little bit like old new-born babies. Doing what we do is a sort of eternal childhood, it’s true. But I realized that from the very first day… I figured out who it was on the fifteenth day. 

I heard that there were posters in New York that were selling for 300 dollars. I was thinking, Where are they coming from? We managed to find the two guys who were doing it, they were stewards at Air France. I have no idea how they’d heard of the atelier. They would smile and say, ‘oh, marvelous,’ and then swoosh—every night they took a little roll of posters […]. They would leave for Orly [Airport] and give the posters to their friends who were on flights for New York or London. It went very quickly. I thought, ‘Well, well.’ In a moment of incredible popular enthusiasm, in a youth crazy with generosity, there are guys who immediately—immediately—who are there the very second we start to do something free and benevolent, they think, ‘Hey, I’ll put some aside, I’ll steal them, I’ll take them, and I’ll make some money.’ The human animal, we’re awful complicated. […] It was a total disillusionment […]. It was the day I started to understand that man is not good. No, no, no. [204]


Arts-Déco’s posters also were sold in New York. Miehe estimates that a quarter of the posters printed never made it to the walls. [205] People in the ateliers, including some of the artists, took posters to start personal collections, [206] although collecting was definitely counter-revolutionary and Buraglio says “we would hit anyone who did with clubs.” [207] Even today, it is a point of pride to say, as Miehe does, “I do not have one!” [208] The posters were made for the streets.



The posters were not on all of the streets, however. Mostly, they were displayed in the center of Paris, in the heavily student Latin Quarter. In 1968, the approach to the Beaux-Arts’ massive front gate, in St. Germain des Près, led one past walls lined with posters of all sorts—posters posted so thickly that many wholly or partially covered up others. [209] The posters’ nearness to their birthplace can be partially explained by the gasoline shortage that gripped Paris during mai. Rancillac remembers that “we could sit in the middle of the Boulevard Saint Germain. There wasn’t any more gas, and there weren’t any more cars, there wasn’t any traffic. If there was a car, it could go around the people.” [210]



The posters remained largely a Latin Quarter phenomenon, reflecting the limits of the movement itself. In fact, mai mobilized a minority of the Parisian population. Rancillac notes,
It was very limited. I remember the morning after [the barricades on the] Rue Guy Lussac—where’d there had been quite a few burned cars… I went for a walk in the 13th [district]—which is not far, it’s two kilometers away—and, well, guys were calmly playing boules by the metro stop in the sun. If you’d told them there had been an uprising they would have said, ‘Oh, really?’ [211]




IV. The “Anti-Fascist” Posters

The boules players may have been unmoved by the events taking place around them, but people witnessing grand events often do not recognize their significance until they are long past. The previous two centuries had brought through France a long parade of revolutions of the left and right, civil wars, and foreign invasions, the most recent of which, World War II, had endeavored to sweep artists into its political embrace. The occupying Nazis and the collaborationist Pétain government were adepts of the propaganda wall poster.

Now come the ateliers of 1968. Ironically, their only direct predecessors were Nazis and Collaborators. Yet of the approximately five hundred designs produced by the Parisian ateliers, only about twenty posters—four percent—use anti-Nazi images. Of these twenty, one equates French President Charles de Gaulle with then-living fascist dictators Francisco Franco of Spain, and António de Oliveira Salazar of Portugal. The nineteen others graphically referenced German Nazism.



Henry Rousso’s Le Syndrome de Vichy, a groundbreaking examination of the French memory of the Vichy years, argues that when the war ended in 1945 and De Gaulle came to power, he provided the exhausted population with a face-saving, unifying myth: that all French people were Resisters. In effect, De Gaulle rewrote history, obliterating France’s avid collaboration. This false memory—the “Vichy Syndrome”—became an especially French sickness.



The year 1968 is critical in French history because, according to Rousso, it “represents a turning point in the vision of the Occupation. […] More than a raging cobblestone, it is a ticking time bomb.” [212] Rousso argues that two slogans, “CRS = SS” (Compagnie Républicaine de Sécurité, French national riot police = Schutzstaffel, German Nazi stormtroopers) and “Nous Sommes Tous des Juifs Allemands” (“We are all German Jews”), reveal that 1968 is the “turning point” in the memory of the “dark years.” [213] He comments only on the texts, however, not on the documents—i.e., the posters—on which these words were displayed.

 

“Shouts of ‘CRS=SS’ or ‘We are all German Jews’ […] are bridges spontaneously built between the past and the present,” [214] Rousso writes. The “past” here is the Nazi past. Both of these cries were also printed on Beaux-Arts atelier posters. The posters and the slogans were indeed historical references, but were they directed at the Nazi occupation as Rousso suggests, or somewhere else?

 “CRS=SS” can be traced to the post-war mining strikes in Northern France. French historian Christine Fauré observes that


”CRS SS” […] dates to 1948. One can see it painted in the workers’ quarters in La Grande Lutte des mineurs [“The Great Miners’ Struggle”], a film by Louis Daquin, produced in the context of the violent strikes of November and December 1947.” [215]



The 68er students certainly did not invent this slogan, nor were they the first to scrawl it on the scenery. Perhaps a visiting union representative waiting for a poster at the atelier suggested it, or perhaps the atelier artists had the seen the Daquin film. Thus the reference is not to the Occupation but to a French labor struggle—or perhaps, in a further seperation, to a cinematic representation of a strike. Beaux-Arts artist Fromanger, when discussing the origins of that particular slogan, notes somewhat unconvincingly that mining regions were “close to Germany” and the strike dates were “close to the war.” [216] The students in Paris, however, were not.



When creating the posters, the ateliers mined all manner of leftist material. The Communist Party’s well-established practice of slandering bourgeois leaders by association with Enemies of the People was easily adapted to posters. Associating De Gaulle with Hitler and other fascist leaders at first sight seems likely to have originated with the insouciant youth of 1968, but it did not. The French Communist Party’s 1951 pamphlet “De Gaulle… is Fascism” states:


De Gaulle is big capital’s man. He is American millionaires’ man. He is war’s man. He is fascism’s man. […] De Gaulle, is a fascist dictatorship, and the French people don’t want any of it. […]De Gaulle[’s] goal: sweeping away the republican regime and installing his personal power […] following in the footsteps of  Napoleon III le Petit and Hitler. [217]

As early as 1951, seventeen years before ’68, then, the French Communist Party linked De Gaulle to Hitler and fascism. In the same pamphlet, astonishingly, the Party also associated De Gaulle with Pétain. De Gaulle’s “anti-Bolshevik legions,” the brochure says, “were from the time of  Pétain and Hitler.” [218]

In the Syndrome de Vichy Rousso overemphasizes the 68ers’ use of anti-fascist and anti-Nazi imagery and language. In the late-1960s, calling a capitalist government “fascist” was not restricted to countries that had a real fascist past. In the United States, for example, radical students in the 1960s also called their politicians fascists and their country a Nazi state. It is possible, therefore, that the French movement’s references to fascism are in no way confrontations with the shameful past.

image 11 image 12 image 13

The slogan that was so convincing to Rousso— “CRS SS”—began its 1968 life as half a diptych. Printed on May 20 at the Beaux-Arts, [219] the simple “CRS SS,” with its five blue freehand letters on a white background was designed to comment on a stylized representation of a menacing CRS officer wearing a German helmet and brandishing a club. Some later versions of this image drove home the point by adding Nazi stormtroopers’ SS insignia to the policeman’s shield. [xvi]

Buraglio remembers the initial proposal of the posters:


It was contested because we [were] young people—[…] too young to know what the SS had been. During the war these had been the most feared Nazis, responsible for the persecution of Jews and resisters all across Europe. Well, there were union representatives [at the assembly]—so these were people who were 40 years old, to our 20 to 25 years—and they told us, ‘You cannot print this because the French police are not the SS.’ [220]



Fromanger adds that the politically naïve young artists


didn’t know who the CRS were, we’d never seen them. We knew who the SS were. We didn’t know who the CRS were. They went, in ’48, ’60, maybe up to the northern mines to repress a miners’ strike. But against us? The country’s youth? Against students? Against high school students? What was happening? There was something we didn’t understand. So ‘CRS SS’ came. It was easy […] and quick. [221]



Some atelier members—especially those well-versed in French radical history—knew that the reference was historically inaccurate. “We, the Communists,” remembers Buraglio, “had received a lot of schooling [on the Resistance]. We had taken courses on the Resistance. Those of us who had been fed with that history weren’t for [the poster]. […] It was printed, though the most politicized among us opposed it.” [222]



Besides, members of the ateliers genuinely feared the French riot police although no demonstrator died at their hands during mai ’68. [xvii] Rancillac recalls that


even though there were no deaths there still were a lot of people injured. People who had skulls cracked. I knew a professor who had his skull cracked, yes. He was already a little crazy, so it didn’t change much but… There were surely eyes poked out, a few ears torn off, legs broken. It was scary. When they [the CRS] came, you had to run. I spent a night at the fac de droit [law school], at the Place du Panthéon. I was with a girlfriend and all of a sudden we found ourselves in the middle—and CRS were coming from all sides. So we ran. There was a door at the fac de droit that was half-open, so we snuck in and shut the door. […] So we spent the night there without sleeping, listening to the loud noises in the streets. [223]



Terrifying—and believable—rumors circulated among the artists. Miehe remembers his belief that tanks were moving in on a student protest:

I had a friend who was an emergency room doctor. One day he called me and said, ‘be careful, there are tanks coming towards Paris.’ I believed him—he was a pretty level-headed guy and he usually didn’t talk nonsense. […] It turns out that it wasn’t true, but when he told me I stopped a protest. It was a hot one, too! It was the May 14 or 15 on Rue Rennes, a big street over by Montparnasse. There were thousands of people there and we were going to meet up with another protest. And I remember—I’m not a hero, you know—but I climbed onto a car roof, and asked the protesters to stop, and not to go up the Rue Rennes,  because it was possible that there were tanks and all. So the protest went another way, because a lot of people heard me. […] In reality, there were no tanks. [224]



Paranoia also crept into the ateliers. “There must have been cops [at the Beaux-Arts],” recalls Rancillac. “Yeah, because at the time, once you got a group of four people together, we would say to ourselves, ‘Surely there is a cop among us.’ So we would look at each other, and we wouldn’t know who it was.” [225]



A number of the ateliers members were arrested at various times during mai.  The CRS took protesters to the Beaujon prison outside of Paris. As Seydoux recalls, “people would spent only a few hours at Beaujon—and no one was tortured, no one was put to death.” [226] Bernard was once caught on the streets with filthy hands. The cops assumed the grime was from throwing cobblestones; in fact, it was silk-screen ink. [227] He “spent the end of the night at Beaujon. We weren’t beaten—there were times when people were beaten, but we weren’t. We were just kept there and then released, and that was it.” [228]



The artists and students at both ateliers set up services d’ordre (guard units) to protect themselves. The guards usually fought rightwingers, such Occident members, who were “much farther to the right than De Gaulle.” [229] Guard duty involved standing at the school’s main entrance armed with “a club and Molotov cocktails.” [230] The ateliers needed protecting because, according to Fromanger, the extremists “said, ‘Fuck! These [posters] are good. We have to stop them, those little Bolshevik bastards!” [231]



Mai ’68 was a violent time. Bernard explains that “you heard a lot of talk about repression because it did exist. The first night of barricades [May 13] was very, very violent. […]And it was covered by radio journalists and broadcast [everywhere].” Rancillac remembers:

We were afraid. One time, on the Boulevard St. Michel, at the intersection of the Boulevard St. Michel and the Boulevard St. Germain, I was just watching a couple of people fight, and—toc—a rubber bullet whizzed passed me, right next to me. If it had hit me in the eye I’d have one less eye. It could have happened.

I remember one time over on the Rue Guy Lussac—which was very, very violent. Well, I was just walking there with a neighbor […] it was very calm. […] All of a sudden things heated up. […] The CRS arrived. Some officer calls to us, ‘What the hell are you doing here?’ And I reply, ‘And you?’ Toc, he caught me, and pushed me up against a door, and—toc, toc, toc—they started hitting everything and everyone there. [232]

The students themselves were violent. They threw cobblestones and Molotov cocktails, they engaged in fist fights, and they were wantonly destructive. Miehe was heartbroken, for example, when student enragés (mad dogs) cut down all the trees on the Boulevard St. Michel. [233] The artists themselves were responsible for symbolic violence—visual aggression—that caused real attacks.

image 14

The Arts-Déco’s “De Gaulle Hitler,” [xviii] known as “the abominable poster,” [234] was printed in late June, towards the end of the movement “when the police were hitting really hard.” [235] Printed in heavy black ink on white paper, Hitler is shown holding up a mask of De Gaulle’s face and wearing a Gaullist arm-band in place of his Nazi regalia. The message is clear, though unwritten: De Gaulle is Hitler. The images of De Gaulle and Hitler are produced realistically, without caricature or distortion. They are in no way cartoonish.

Though the French had their own useable fascist past, embodied in the Vichy government of Maréchal Philippe Pétain, the artists chose to ignore it and appropriate the German Nazi instead. Asked why, Bernard admits, “I didn’t know who Pétain was at the time.” France’s own history was not truly available to its young citizens. Miehe believes that “Pétain holding a De Gaulle mask would have been much stronger, but we didn’t think of it.” [236]

De Gaulle had already been the subject of many other 68er posters: some funny, some malicious, most of them caricatures presenting the General with his gourd-like nose and a street cop’s képi. To the ateliers, De Gaulle was “authority and the past,” [237] “power, the army, and morality.” [238]

“De Gaulle Hitler” broke the mold. Bernard notes that the poster “was insupportable because it was a realistic poster—and, in’68 there were few realistic posters.” [239] Beaux-Arts artists were quick to condemn it, smugly asserting: “It could never have been printed at the Beaux-Arts,” because “it wasn’t correct, politically or historically.” [240] In other words, the Beaux-Arts assembly would not have approved this poster. At the Arts-Déco, however, poster artists isolated on the fourth floor from the general meeting below decided what posters would be produced.

“It was stupid, and we let it happen!” Miehe says. “I had been against it […] but at the time we weren’t afraid of anything.” [241] He believes the poster was not designed to shock. “Some people really believed [De Gaulle was the same as Hitler]. Some people thought it was true.” [242]



Bernard did not think so, but in 1968,

I printed it because I thought it was fabulous. […] The image was incredibly violent and not politically correct, but it was very,  very effective. Very, very effective. There was an unwholesome jubilation in the printing of it. [243]

The poster evoked violence in the streets. “The people who had to glue it were assassinated—I mean, not really, but they were hit hard on the head,” Bernard says. “Some really violent things happened after an image like that one was posted.” [244]



Where does this notorious image fit in Rousso’s interpretation of 1968? According to Rousso, the mai events were an early glimmer of an assumption of responsibility for the crimes of Collaboration. De Gaulle-as-Hitler stands outside of French history, since De Gaulle, in exile in London, led the Free French throughout the war. According to Rancillac, however, by 1968 people “had already forgotten that he had saved France.” [245] De Gaulle led France with a heavy hand and had enemies on the left and right. Fromanger remembers a famous press conference around this time at which De Gaulle was asked if he intended to be France’s dictator: “Dictator! Me? Dictator? You think I made it to [the age of] 78 to become a dictator? You make me laugh, my little man! You are a baby! You are a child! Me? Dictator?” [246] He did not elaborate further.



France owed De Gaulle a lot, but according to Rougemont, the French were tired of being dominated by this historic figure, [247] tired of hearing about the Resistance and his role in it. Two of the slogans in ’68 were “dix ans c’est assez” or “dix ans c’est trop” (“ten years is enough” and “ten years is too much”). The 68ers wanted freedom from De Gaulle and the history he embodied. Instead of confronting the past, as Rousso suggests, the 68ers were trying to escape it. Thus, “De Gaulle Hitler.”

image 15 image 16

Fromanger was proud that the Beaux-Arts had not—and, in his opinion, could not have—printed “De Gaulle Hitler.” He claims the assembly never would have passed it, and at Beaux-Arts the assembly—not the working artists—decided what would be printed; politics, not aesthetics, ruled. This became all too clear in the case of the poster “Nous sommes tous des Juifs et des Allemands” (“We are all Germans and Jews”). [xix]

Rancillac designed the poster on May 22 when ethnic German student leader Daniel Cohn-Bendit’s was expelled from France. [248] Rancillac used a photo by reporter Gilles Caron, [249]   showing a smiling Cohn-Bendit in front of a CRS officer. The artist remembers:

Arroyo [a leader at the Beaux-Arts and a member of the Jeune Peinture] said to me, ‘Hey, Bernard, we need a poster for Cohn-Bendit. Since you are here, you’re going to do it.’ So I said yes, and ‘I want a photo.’ […] So he said to me, ‘Ah, you want photos?’ So he gave two or three photos—I don’t know, there was maybe a photographer around.

It was eight at night—or seven. I didn’t live far away, actually, at the Place Maubert. I went home. I took a piece of paper. I projected my photo, and I did my Cohn-Bendit. I then went back to the Beaux-Arts—it probably was ten and I think Rougemont was around. So we put the thing together and I write—well, what is the slogan? Because it wasn’t up to me to invent the slogan.  Arroyo or someone else told me ‘we’re all German Jews.’ So I wrote ‘we’re all German Jews’ and we printed the posters. I took the three first ones, or the first four, I made a little roll, and I went home to sleep. It must have been midnight or one in the morning by then.

I slept, and then the next day at ten—because I never wake up early—I went back to the Beaux-Arts and I saw the posters. Their slogan was ‘We’re all undesirable.’ I said, ‘Who was the asshole who…’



It turns out that there had been another general assembly […] that had said ‘Ah, no! No, that’s not okay because that slogan—‘we’re all Germans Jews’—was invented by the Communist Party, maybe to make fun of Cohn-Bendit.’ The Communists weren’t very hip in mai ’68 […].

I said, ‘You are pitiful’ and that was that. There was a protest two hours later, and they had glued the posters everywhere. But everybody screamed ‘We’re all German Jews,’ because, in the end, it’s the masses who decide. […] ‘German Jews’ was much better. It was simpler.



The second general assembly changed the slogan to “we are all ‘undesirable’” [xx] because the term “Jew” in the original was thought to be offensive, “too racist,” [250] according to French historian Christine Fauré. Cohn-Bendit did not have a lot of friends in the Old Left and the Communist Party despised him. During the mai events, the Party’s general secretary had derogated Cohn-Bendit, a French citizen, sneering that “he was a German Jew.” [251] In expelling Cohn-Bendit later, the French minister of the interior called him “undesirable.” [252]



In the street protests after the expulsion, however, Fromanger recalls that the marchers shouted “we’re all Germans and Jews. […] The [original] poster was correct because the slogan was chanted in the streets by millions of people.  […] [The new slogan] was depressing. It sucked. It’s like today when people take the cigarettes out of old photos.” [253]   In this poster the atelier attempted to clean up the streets, to prettify their speech.



Fromanger says the altered slogan exemplifies langue de bois, literally “tongue of wood.” As in English, the French “tongue” also means “language;” so it also meant “wooden language.” Langue de bois is unproductive speech, quintessential blah-blah; Fromanger defines it as the language of politics. [254] He still asks himself today why the second assembly made the change:


How do consensus and langue de bois set in, even among revolutionaries who are twenty years old and have made only one month of revolution? How is fear born? […] Caution? […] It was censorship, self censorship. […] You must never be afraid. You must never be afraid, because fear is the beginning of crap. That’s how fascism begins. [255]



In their own ways, both ateliers gave special attention to these two posters, “De Gaulle Hitler” and “We are all Germans and Jews,” that addressed World War II topics. In retrospect, however, Seydoux, like many others, says that “these were references we did not understand.” [256] Seydoux was born in 1946, Miehe and Bernard in 1942. None of the atelier artists would have been able to remember the war.

*

The posters of 1968, despite the artists’ early hopes that they would be ephemeral and linked to a struggle, lived on and on. With each rebirth they are further divorced from their past. They are decontextualized and become decorations or, worse, fine art. This was peculiar, considering their origins as agitational propaganda, but what followed was stranger still.

In February 2005, the French grocery store chain Leclerc revealed a new advertising campaign that used the Beaux-Arts “CRS SS” poster image. [xxi] The new poster features the same French riot policeman wearing a German helmet, but this time his shield bears a barcode instead of Nazi insignia. His right arm, which was out of the frame of the original, is fully visible. The grocer’s text reads “High prices oppress your purchasing power.” Thus, Leclerc equated high prices with bullying French policemen and the older Nazi stormtroopers.

image 17
image 18

Miehe calls the campaign “a totally uninteresting parody,” and observes that its multiple historical references do not matter because “advertisements aren’t supposed to make you think.” [257] The 1968 original was supposed to provoke thought, although arguably its references to the miners’ strike, French police, and German SS were also confused.

Thanks to image manipulation software and the internet, visual commentary can be immediately produced today. Artists need no longer wait for ink to dry. The same day the Leclerc advertisements appeared in Parisian metro stations, on French billboards, and in magazines across the country, parodies of the parodies instantly appeared on the internet. This time, the riot policeman’s shield featured the Leclerc logo and the caption read “Consume.” [xxii] The grocery chain is here transformed into the aggressor: the riot policeman attempting to bludgeon people into buying. The anti-Leclerc image clearly takes the Leclerc advertisement as its model, as the CRS’s arm is also whole. The response was clever and widely available online, but when it came to the streets, Leclerc wins the day. It has physical presence, the electronic answer does not.

V. Conclusion

image 19

Paris, June 2006: Someone has scrawled “CRS SS”in charcoal on the outside wall of 33 Rue du Temple. [xxiii] It is the now familiar equation from the miners’ strike, to the movies, to the ateliers, to mass protests, to a corporate advertising campaign, to a digital reaction. “CRS SS” survives, further than ever from its original context.

*

On June 27, 1968, the CRS invaded the Beaux-Arts. [258] A few days later, the Arts-Déco also fell. Fromanger was one of two people still in the Beaux-Arts when the police arrived. He remembers that the cops looked everywhere for offset machines. […] The Colonel of the CRS! The CRS! ‘Assholes! Where are the machines?’ ‘There aren’t any machines.’ ‘What?’ […] There were silk-screening frames around, so we said, ‘These are our machines.’ They said, ‘Don’t mock us!’ They didn’t know what silk-screening was. [259]

The art schools were among the last of the occupied institutions to be re-taken by the forces of order. The Sorbonne had fallen on June 18, and some of its occupants fled to the shelter of the Beaux-Arts. [260]

There were no pitched battles with the CRS. The police took the few remaining occupants to the prison at Beaujon, as a formality, and later released them. [261] The re-taking of the schools did not end the artists’ revolutionary commitment, nor their poster-making. “We weren’t able to stop,” [262] Rancillac remembers. They had had so much fun and enjoyed so much success at the Beaux-Arts and Arts-Déco that many participants continued working with posters and propaganda through the 1970s and beyond.

image 20

Shortly after the schools were retaken, refugees from the Beaux-Arts atelier produced “La Police s’Affiche au Beaux-Arts, les Beaux-Arts Affichent dans la Rue” [xxiv] ( “the police are posted in the Beaux-Arts, the Beaux-Arts posts in the streets”). Rancillac and Seydoux set up a workshop in a Protestant church and also created a few more posters. [263]

Not only did the ateliers introduce silk-screening to France, the workshops and their warm, communal environments changed the Parisian art scene. [264] Young artists came together then and many remain friends to this day. [265] Further, the educational system, vociferously attacked in 1968, reformed, and this reform, says Bernard, “was essentially the fruit of ’68.” [266]

“All of a sudden,” remembers Rancillac, “[academic] relationships were not the same. […] You could tell professors what you really thought of them. If you wanted to call them assholes you could, if they had said something stupid.” Many participants felt that 1968 profoundly changed French society. Seydoux, Buraglio, and Rancillac agree that “mai ’68 was mostly an evolution in social relationships.” [267]

Miehe is quick to point out, however, that “electorally speaking, mai ’68 was an enormous regression” that led to a huge victory for the Right. [268] Buraglio decides that, in the end, “there is a mass of people who are afraid of excess, and there was excess in 1968. So they voted in great numbers for the return to order, and the movement was crushed.” [269] The loss perplexed and demoralized many young activists. Nevertheless, France’s late-1960s’ movements never resorted to terrorism:
How could we believe that everyone was willing to make a revolution, and then two months later, seventy percent vote for the Right? What happened? What didn’t we understand? That’s why we  never fell into terrorism, unlike the Germans and the Italians. [270]

Fromanger concludes that “we weren’t the people’s avant garde. We weren’t going to start killing people. It wasn’t worth it.” [271]


“Like all my comrades, I had the impression that I was living a historical moment [in mai ‘68],” [272] Miehe remembers. But how has this history since been written? Fromanger warns that bad—wrong—history, when taught in schools, becomes a “universal langue de bois.” [273] For a 1982 poster exhibition sponsored by the French national library, the Bibliothèque Nationale, curator Charles Perussaux explained his selections by noting that “there are some other [posters] whose provocative tone could hurt too-sensitive souls.” [274] These images were not included in the show. Among the omissions: all of the posters with references to Nazism.

Footnotes
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[i] See image 1, page 1; Source: E.Leclerc, http://www.e-leclerc.com/c2k/portail/decouvrir/corp_pachat_04.asp. May 2006.

[ii] In the United States at that time, “propaganda” usually was associated with Communism.

[iii] In fact, it is Latin, meaning “things to be propagated.” Source: Wikkepedia,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda#Etymology, November 2006.

[iv] See image 2; Source: Bibliothèque de Documentation Internationale Contemporaine. Mai 68: Les Movements Etudiants en France et dans le Monde. Publication de la BDIC: France, 1988. p. 74.

[v] See image 3; Source: Bibliothèque de Documentation Internationale Contemporaine. Mai 68: Les Movements Etudiants en France et dans le Monde. Publication de la BDIC: France, 1988. p. 130.

[vi] Another occupant of the Arts-Déco building was the Situationists, an avant garde group that originated in the 1950s split of the Lettrist and the Lettrist International. Seydoux notes “they had waited [for something like ‘68]. They had felt rumblings before mai.” During mai, the Arts-Déco leaders gave Situationists an office in the basement. Miehe says, “we argued, but their presence enriched the discussion.” The Situationists chaired the C.M.D.O (Conseil pour le Maintien Des Occupations), and also produced posters in a unique style: black backgrounds with bold white reverse type. These were printed at a nearby Situationist print shop, however, not at the occupied art schools. They signed their works with the council’s name, C.M.D.O., Conseil pour le Maintien Des Occupations, and did not submit their posters for general criticism.

[vii] See his article “Les affiches de ‘mai 68’” (Matériaux pour l’Histoire de notre Temps. Année 1988, Volume 11, Numéro 11. P. 160-171. Persée: http://www.persee.fr), and book La Propagande par l’Affiche (Syros alternatives: Paris, 1991).

[viii] See images 4 and 5; Sources: Image 4: author’s photograph, June 2006; image 12: Beaux-Arts image, author’s digital collection.

[ix] See image 6; Source: Beaux-Arts image, author’s digital collection.

[x] See image 7 ; Source: Beaux-Arts image, author’s digital collection.

[xi] See image 15, page 48

[xii] Today, the stairwells are no longer empty; elevators have been installed.

[xiii] See image 8; Source: Beaux-Arts image, author’s digital collection.

[xiv] See images 9 and 10 ; Sources: Beaux-Arts images, author’s digital collection.

[xv] His concept of authorship was both traditional and consistent: he refused to sign posters that he himself had not created. He signed only “Nous Sommes Tous des Juifs et des Allemands.”

[xvi] See images 11, 12, and 13 ; Sources: Beaux-Arts images, author’s digital collection.

[xvii] There were two accidental deaths. One student drowned and one was trampled to death.

[xviii] See image 14 ; Source: Arts-Déco image, author’s digital collection.

[xix] See image 15, page 48 ; Source: Beaux-Arts image, author’s digital collection.

[xx] See image 16, page 48 ; Source: Beaux-Arts image, author’s digital collection.

[xxii] See image 18; Source: : Hervé Le Crosnier, http://www.framasoft.net/article3621.html.

[xxiii] See image 19; Author’s photograph, June 2006.

[xxiv] See image 20 ; Source: Beaux-Arts image, author’s digital collection.




Endnotes
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[1] Rousso, Henry. Le Syndrome de Vichy. Editions du Seuil: Paris, 1980. p. 112

[2] Bernard, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 4 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[3] Seydoux, Eric. Interview by Gene Tempest. 13 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[4] Gervereau, Laurent. “Les affiches de ‘mai 68,’” Matériaux pour l’Histoire de notre Temps. Année 1988, Volume 11, Numéro 11. P. 160-171. Persée: http://www.persee.fr. p. 164

[5] Ibid.

[6] Les Affiches de Mai 68 ou l’imagination graphique. Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris: 1982. Introduction Charles Perussaux, p. II.

[7] Bernard, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 4 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[8] Buraglio, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 5 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[9] De Rougemont, Guy. Interview by Gene Tempest. 28 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[10] Rancillac, Bernard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 6 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[11] Bernard, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 4 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[12] Gervereau, Laurent. Les Images Qui Mentent. Edition du Seuil: Paris, 2000. p. 24.

[13] Rancillac, Bernard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 6 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[14] Buraglio, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 5 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Rousso, Henry. Le Syndrome de Vichy. Editions du Seuil: Paris, 1980. p. 112.

[19] Fromanger, Gérard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 8 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[20] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[21] Buraglio, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 5 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[22] De Rougemont, Guy. Interview by Gene Tempest. 28 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[23] Rancillac, Bernard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 6 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[24] Buraglio, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 5 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[25] Fromanger, Gérard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 8 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[26] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Bernard, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 4 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[29] Lenfant, Alain. “Anti-Impérilisme et Anti-Fascisme à Nanterre.” Mai 68. BDIC: Nanterre, 1988. p. 130.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Rancillac, Bernard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 6 July 2006. Regional Oral

History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[32] De Rougemont, Guy. Interview by Gene Tempest. 28 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Ibid.

[35] Buraglio, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 5 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[36] Seydoux, Eric. Interview by Gene Tempest. 13 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[37] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[38] Ibid.

[39] Ibid.

[40] Seydoux, Eric. Interview by Gene Tempest. 13 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[41] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[42] Bernard, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 4 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[43] Ibid.

[44] Rancillac, Bernard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 6 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[45] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[46] Le Cornu, Danièle and Rachel Mazuy. “Chronology des évènements à Nanterre en 1967-1968.” Mai 68. BDIC: Nanterrre, 1988. p. 135.

[47] Rancillac, Bernard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 6 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[48] Ibid.

[49] Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. http://www.ensba.fr/patrimoine/batiments_plan.htm. November 2006.

[50] Atelier Populaire. L’Atelier Populaire Présenté par Lui-Même. Dobson: Great Britain, 1969.

[51] Google maps. http://www.google.com/maps. November 2006.

[52] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[53] Buraglio, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 5 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[54] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[55] De Rougemont, Guy. Interview by Gene Tempest. 28 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[56] Seydoux, Eric. Interview by Gene Tempest. 13 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[57] Fromanger, Gérard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 8 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[58] Rancillac, Bernard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 6 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[59] Fromanger, Gérard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 8 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[60] Rancillac, Bernard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 6 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[61] Fromanger, Gérard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 8 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[62] Ibid.

[63] Ibid.

[64] Buraglio, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 5 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[65] Ibid.

[66] Ibid.

[67] Ibid.

[68] Ibid.

[69] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[70] Ibid.

[71] Bernard, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 4 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[72] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[73] Bernard, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 4 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[74] Ibid.

[75] Ibid.

[76] Ibid.

[77] Seydoux, Eric. Interview by Gene Tempest. 13 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[78] Buraglio, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 5 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[79] Ibid.

[80] Seydoux, Eric. Interview by Gene Tempest. 13 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[81] Ibid.

[82] Rancillac, Bernard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 6 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[83] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[84] Rancillac, Bernard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 6 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[85] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[86] Seidman, Michael. The Imaginary Revolution. Berghahn Books: United States, 2004. p. 12.

[87] Moissac, Patrick. Mai 68 La Révolution S’affiche. Val de France Editions: France 1998. p. 7.

[88] De Rougemont, Guy. Interview by Gene Tempest. 28 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[89] Seydoux, Eric. Interview by Gene Tempest. 13 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[90] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[91] Buraglio, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 5 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[92] Ibid.

[93] Ibid.

[94] Fromanger, Gérard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 8 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[95] “Mai 1968 Usines Universités Union UUU” Ministère des affaires étrangères. France: 1968.

[96] Seydoux, Eric. Interview by Gene Tempest. 13 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[97] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[98] Ibid.

[99] Ibid.

[100] Bernard, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 4 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[101] Ibid.

[102] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[103] Bernard, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 4 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[104] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[105] De Rougemont, Guy. Interview by Gene Tempest. 28 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[106] Fromanger, Gérard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 8 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[107] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[108] Fromanger, Gérard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 8 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[109] Buraglio, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 5 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[110] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[111] Buraglio, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 5 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[112] Fromanger, Gérard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 8 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[113] Gervereau, Laurent. “Les affiches de ‘mai 68,’” Matériaux pour l’Histoire de notre Temps. Année 1988, Volume 11, Numéro 11. P. 160-171. Persée: http://www.persee.fr. p. 169.

[114] Buraglio, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 5 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[115] Ibid.

[116] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[117] Bernard, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 4 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[118] Buraglio, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 5 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[119] Seydoux, Eric. Interview by Gene Tempest. 13 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[120] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[121] Fromanger, Gérard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 8 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[122] Buraglio, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 5 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[123] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[124] Fromanger, Gérard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 8 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[125] Ibid.

[126] Ibid.

[127] Seydoux, Eric. Interview by Gene Tempest. 13 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[128] Ibid.

[129] De Rougemont, Guy. Interview by Gene Tempest. 28 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[130] Buraglio, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 5 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[131] Seydoux, Eric. Interview by Gene Tempest. 13 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[132] Gervereau, Laurent. “Les affiches de ‘mai 68,’” Matériaux pour l’Histoire de notre Temps. Année 1988, Volume 11, Numéro 11. P. 160-171. Persée: http://www.persee.fr. p.164.

[133] Miehe, François et Gérard Paris-Clavel. “L’atelier des Arts-décoratifs.” Interview by Laurent Gervereau. Matériaux pour l’histoire de notre temps, 1988, Volume 11, Numéro 11. http://www.persee.fr. p. 196.

[134] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[135] Ibid.

[136] Seydoux, Eric. Interview by Gene Tempest. 13 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[137] Fromanger, Gérard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 8 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[138] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[139] Seydoux, Eric. Interview by Gene Tempest. 13 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[140] Buraglio, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 5 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[141] Ibid.

[142] Ibid.

[143] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[144] Ibid.

[145] Seydoux, Eric. Interview by Gene Tempest. 13 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[146] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[147] De Rougemont, Guy. Interview by Gene Tempest. 28 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[148] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[149] Buraglio, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 5 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[150] Seydoux, Eric. Interview by Gene Tempest. 13 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[151] Ibid.

[152] Rancillac, Bernard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 6 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[153] Ibid.

[154] Ibid.

[155] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[156] Seydoux, Eric. Interview by Gene Tempest. 13 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[157] De Rougemont, Guy. Interview by Gene Tempest. 28 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[158] Seydoux, Eric. Interview by Gene Tempest. 13 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[159] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[160] Seydoux, Eric. Interview by Gene Tempest. 13 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[161] Ibid.

[162] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[163] Ibid.

[164] Ibid.

[165] Seydoux, Eric. Interview by Gene Tempest. 13 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[166] De Rougemont, Guy. Interview by Gene Tempest. 28 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[167] Seydoux, Eric. Interview by Gene Tempest. 13 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[168] Ibid.

[169] Chauvin, Henri. “Posters,” 1968. Digitized 2005 by Lincoln Cushing and Michael Rossman.

[170] Seydoux, Eric. Interview by Gene Tempest. 13 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[171] Chauvin, Henri. “Posters,” 1968. Digitized 2005 by Lincoln Cushing and Michael Rossman.

[172] Ibid.

[173] Bernard, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 4 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[174] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[175] Seydoux, Eric. Interview by Gene Tempest. 13 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[176] Fromanger, Gérard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 8 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[177] Buraglio, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 5 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[178] De Rougemont, Guy. Interview by Gene Tempest. 28 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[179] Buraglio, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 5 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[180] Bernard, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 4 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[181] Fromanger, Gérard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 8 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[182] Rancillac, Bernard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 6 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[183] Bernard, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 4 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[184] Ibid.

[185] Besançon, Julien. “Les Murs ont la Parole.” Journal Mural Mai 68. Tchou: 1968. p. 97-98.

[186] Mai 68. BDIC: Nanterre, 1988. p. 98-99.

[187] Les Affiches de Mai 68 ou l’imagination graphique. Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris: 1982. p. 14-15.

[188] Rancillac, Bernard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 6 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[189] De Rougemont, Guy. Interview by Gene Tempest. 28 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[190] Rancillac, Bernard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 6 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[191] Fromanger, Gérard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 8 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[192] Perussaux, Charles. Introduction, Les Affiches de Mai 68 ou l’imagination graphique. Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris: 1982. p. IV.

[193] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[194] Ibid.

[195] Ibid.

[196] Buraglio, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 5 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[197] Ibid.

[198] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[199] Ibid.

[200] Rancillac, Bernard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 6 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[201] Seydoux, Eric. Interview by Gene Tempest. 13 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[202] Fromanger, Gérard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 8 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[203] De Rougemont, Guy. Interview by Gene Tempest. 28 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[204] Fromanger, Gérard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 8 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[205] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[206] Rancillac, Bernard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 6 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[207] Buraglio, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 5 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[208] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History

Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[209] Chauvin, Henri. “Posters,” 1968. Digitized 2005 by Lincoln Cushing and Michael Rossman.

[210] Rancillac, Bernard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 6 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[211] Ibid.

[212] Rousso, Henry. Le Syndrome de Vichy. Editions du Seuil: Paris, 1980. p. 112.

[213] Ibid.

[214] Ibid.

[215] Fauré, Christine. Mai 68 jour et Nuit. Decouverte Gallimard Histoire: France 1998. p. 71.

[216] Fromanger, Gérard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 8 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[217] Parti Communiste Français. De Gaule… C’est le Fascisme. “De Gaulle… C’est le Fascisme.” France, 1951. p. 9-10.

[218] Ibid. “De Gaulle, c’est le Mac Arthur français.” p. 8.

[219] Gervereau, Laurent. “Les affiches de ‘mai 68,’” Matériaux pour l’Histoire de notre Temps. Année 1988, Volume 11, Numéro 11. P. 160-171. Persée: http://www.persee.fr. p. 164

[220] Buraglio, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 5 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[221] Fromanger, Gérard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 8 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[222] Buraglio, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 5 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[223] Rancillac, Bernard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 6 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[224] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[225] Rancillac, Bernard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 6 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[226] Seydoux, Eric. Interview by Gene Tempest. 13 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[227] Bernard, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 4 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[228] Ibid.

[229] Buraglio, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 5 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[230] Ibid.

[231] Fromanger, Gérard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 8 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[232] Rancillac, Bernard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 6 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[233] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[234] Bernard, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 4 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[235] Ibid.

[236] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[237] Ibid.

[238] Rancillac, Bernard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 6 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[239] Bernard, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 4 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[240] Fromanger, Gérard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 8 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[241] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[242] Ibid.

[243] Bernard, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 4 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[244] Ibid.

[245] Rancillac, Bernard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 6 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[246] Fromanger, Gérard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 8 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[247] De Rougemont, Guy. Interview by Gene Tempest. 28 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[248] Gervereau, Laurent. “Les affiches de ‘mai 68,’” Matériaux pour l’Histoire de notre Temps. Année 1988, Volume 11, Numéro 11. P. 160-171. Persée: http://www.persee.fr. p. 164

[249] Ibid.

[250] Fauré, Christine. Mai 68 jour et Nuit. Decouverte Gallimard Histoire: France 1998. p. 71.

[251] Fromanger, Gérard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 8 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[252] Ibid.

[253] Ibid.

[254] Ibid.

[255] Ibid.

[256] Seydoux, Eric. Interview by Gene Tempest. 13 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[257] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[258] Gervereau, Laurent. “Les affiches de ‘mai 68,’” Matériaux pour l’Histoire de notre Temps. Année 1988, Volume 11, Numéro 11. P. 160-171. Persée: http://www.persee.fr. p. 165.

[259] Fromanger, Gérard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 8 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[260] Gervereau, Laurent. “Les affiches de ‘mai 68,’” Matériaux pour l’Histoire de notre Temps. Année 1988, Volume 11, Numéro 11. P. 160-171. Persée: http://www.persee.fr. p. 165.

[261] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[262] Rancillac, Bernard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 6 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[263] Ibid.

[264] Seydoux, Eric. Interview by Gene Tempest. 13 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[265] De Rougemont, Guy. Interview by Gene Tempest. 28 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[266] Bernard, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 4 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[267] Seydoux, Eric. Interview by Gene Tempest. 13 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[268] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[269] Buraglio, Pierre. Interview by Gene Tempest. 5 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[270] Fromanger, Gérard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 8 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[271] Ibid.

[272] Miehe, François. Interview by Gene Tempest. 22 June 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[273] Fromanger, Gérard. Interview by Gene Tempest. 8 July 2006. Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley, Social Movements Archive.

[274] Perussaux, Charles. Introduction, Les Affiches de Mai 68 ou l’imagination graphique. Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris: 1982. p. 1.

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