A Dozen Posters from Paris May '68


Universite populaire ete 68 The posters from the May '68 Paris student movement became immediate collectors' items.
An explosion of creativity accompanied the rebellion of the students: new slogans ("Ce nest qu'un début"), new newspapers (l'Enragé), flyers and graffiti.
Students from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts were the first to introduce completely democratic poster production. They occupied their own classrooms and renamed them "Atelier Populaire" [Popular Studio]. Committees of students judged the various designs and slogans by their fellow students. Simplicity, directness, and effectiveness were the main criteria. Many posters were designed at the request of factory committees or trade unions following the massive strikes on 13 May. The posters were printed as lithographs or serigraphs in editions of several hundreds and distributed by other student groups. Student movements in Prague, Mexico (summer 1968), and New York (spring 1970) emulated the propaganda methods of Paris '68.

A large number of the French posters ended up in the suitcase of a sympathetic staff member of the IISH. This is a small selection from the collection Paris, Mouvement mai-juin 1968, which also includes many other first editions (broadsheets, pamphlets, and bulletins).

Margreet Schrevel