May 7, 2018

POSTED BY

Julia Fish

CATEGORY

French Protest Art Half a Century Later

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In May of 1968, workers and students protested the French government. The protests escalated, and millions of people were on strike by mid-May. Factories were closed and France was nearly crippled. It brought social upheaval to France and had the dream of creating a more egalitarian society. If you are interested, …

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In May of 1968, workers and students protested the French government. The protests escalated, and millions of people were on strike by mid-May. Factories were closed and France was nearly crippled. It brought social upheaval to France and had the dream of creating a more egalitarian society. If you are interested, The Guardian has an interesting series of photographs contrasting the locations of the protests in 1968 to today.

“Clash of Images,” an exhibition at Beaux-Arts de Paris showcases art from the French far-left protesters, comes half a century after the protests. It shows pieces from this period as well as the protests that followed for women’s rights and LGBT rights.

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The above print reads, “Press, Do Not Swallow”, and is a response to the News Media, which were state run at the time.

The Ecole des Beaux-Arts wasn’t unaffiliated with the revolts. The school had students and teachers alike that created protest art.  A segment of the exhibit, “Workshop of the People” (Atelier Populaire), showcases many of these works. Their posters were printed in mass and were spread around Paris. All of the art was anonymous in the spirit of the collective art-making process. Many of them are bold, clean designs with a clear message. The confident style reflects that the graphics are unapologetic of their cause.

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The text of the above poster says, “The police show up at the Beaux-Arts, the Beaux-Arts displays in the street.” This poster was created after police raided the art school.
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This poster encourages workers to take over factories. Images courtesy AP and The Ecole des Beaux-Arts