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Commemorating the Global May '68 Events

Image: Photograph by Philippe Gras. This image will be part of "Au cœur de Mai 68," a traveling exhibition of photos by Philippe Gras, accompanied by a film by Dominique Beaux (entitled "Mai 68, un étrange printemps")

Fifty years after the transformative May ’68 student-led protests in France, universities and cultural institutions across the country are presenting diverse programs and events that revisit the spirit of the ’60s in all of its facets, from revolution to social activism and more.

Check back here periodically for an updated listing of events.

Exhibitions

Au cœur de Mai 68
Lit Lang Library, Chicago, IL

Apr 24, 2018 - Apr 26, 2018 
"Au cœur de Mai 68," a traveling exhibition of photos by Philippe Gras, accompanied by a film by Dominique Beaux (entitled "Mai 68, un étrange printemps") will tour the United States this spring. Check back here for more information in the coming weeks.

Au cœur de Mai 68
Apr 5 - Apr 30, 2018
Oxford, Mississippi & Nashville, Tenessee
"Au cœur de Mai 68," a traveling exhibition of photos by Philippe Gras, accompanied by a film by Dominique Beaux (entitled "Mai 68, un étrange printemps") will tour the United States this spring. Check back here for more information in the coming weeks.

Talks, Lectures, and Colloquiums 

Sous les pavés: 20th/21st-century French and Francophone Studies Colloquium
Brown University, Providence, RI
April 12-14 
A colloquium will examine the May ’68 protests through French-language literature, critical theory, cultural studies, gender studies, postcolonial studies, cinema studies, and the history of art, among other lenses. With participation by author Maylis de Kerangal. 

May 68 Fifty Years Later: When? Where? What? And does it even matter?
Columbia University, New York, NY
April 27, 1-5 PM
This panel will collectively reflect on the very historical and political parameters of May ‘68: WHEN was May ‘68 exactly? WHERE did it occur? WHAT was it about? How did the events shape subsequent political landscape? With Kristin Ross, Ludivine Bantigny, Julian Bourg, Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Imen Amiri, Bernard Harcourt, and Emmanuelle Saada 

May 68 in Theory
New York Univeristy, New York, NY
May 1, 7 PM
A true event cannot merely be the object of already given theories: it challenges them and interrogates the very sense it makes to practice theory in general. This is eminently true of May 68 in France: it has been an event for “Theory.”

Mai 68: Une relecture de l’événement à partir de Foucault et de Bourdieu
New York Univeristy, New York, NY
May 2, 6:30 PM
Mai 68 continue d’être interprété de manières très différentes et souvent contradictoires en France. Si certains l’ont considéré comme une révolution anticapitaliste, héritage des luttes ouvrières du XIXe siècle, d’autres y ont vu l’avénement triomphal de l’individualisme contemporain. Pour ces derniers, Mai 68 aurait annoncé le néolibéralisme. Ces deux interprétations opposées ratent la singularité de l’événement de 68 et se méprennent sur la période néolibérale suivante.

May Made Me
Albertine, New York, NY
May 3, 7 PM
The mass protests that shook France in May 1968 changed European politics to this day. Fifty years later, Mitch Abidor and Todd Gitlin will delve into the oral testimonies of those young rebels collected by Abidor in his new book, May Made Me. 

Relive A Night of Philosophy and Ideas
A Night of Philosophy and Ideas, the sunset-to-sunrise event on January 27-28 brought philosophers, musicians, artists, and authors from around the world together at Brooklyn Public Library in Brooklyn, New York. The 12-hour night paid homage to May ’68 through a special screening of Cinétracts, a collection of silent shorts on the events of May '68 in Paris and a series of lectures, including Jason Frank’s The People As Popular Manifestation and Kazembe Balagun’s Black Light/Black Life: Miles, Martin, Martyrs and the 68’ Moment, among several others.

Film Screenings

May '68 in French and Italian Cinema
April 5 - May 3, 2018
The Department of French & Italian at the University of Minnesota is hosting  a film series with five French and Italian films for the 50th anniversary of May 68.

A Grin Without A Cat (Le Fond de l’air est rouge)
Part of Revolution in the Air
Chris Marker, 1977, 180 min 
La Maison Française, Washington, D.C.
April 10, 7:00 PM    
Beginning in 1967 and spanning a decade of political upheaval, this groundbreaking documentary darts at breakneck speed between revolutionary hot spots on four continents.

May Fools (Milou en Mai)
Louis Malle, 1990, 107 min

Maison Française East Gallery, Buell Hall
Columbia University, New York, NY 
April 12, 6:30 PM
An eccentric French family meets in the country for the funeral of their matriarch (Paulette Dubost), which takes place at the same time as the 1968 student revolts in Paris.

The Cinema of May 68 (Le Cinéma de Mai 68)
Maison Française East Gallery, Buell Hall
Columbia Univeristy, New York, NY 
April 19, 6:30 PM 
A selection of short documentaries filmed in May 1968. 

In the Intense Now (No Intenso Agora)
João Moreira Salles, 2017, 127 min
Maison Française East Gallery, Buell Hall
Columbia Univeristy, New York, NY 
April 25, 6:30 PM 
A.O. Scott says viewers “will find solace, enlightenment and surprise in João Moreira Salles’s In the Intense Now, a bittersweet, ruminative documentary essay composed of footage from the era of the 1960s, accompanied by thoughtful, disarmingly personal voice-over narration […]” 

Godard Mon Amour (Le Redoutable)
Part of Revolution in the Air
Michel Hazanavicius, 2017, 102 min  
La Maison Française, Washington, D.C.
May 8, 7:00 PM 
Paris, 1967. Jean-Luc Godard (Louis Garrel), the leading filmmaker of his generation, is shooting La Chinoise with the woman he loves, Anne Wiazemsky (Stacy Martin), 20 years his junior. They are happy, attractive, in love. They marry. But the film’s reception unleashes a profound self-examination in Jean-Luc… 

Ciné-Tracts and Soulevement de la Jeunesse
Ciné-Tracts: Anonymous directors including Chris Marker, Jean Luc Godard & Alain Resnais; Soulevement de la Jeunesse: Maurice Lemaître, 1968, 85 min.
Logan Center for the Arts - University of Chicago
May 18, 7:00 PM
In the wake of the uprisings of May 1968, French filmmakers addressed the turmoil through short political and experimental works. Maurice Lemaître’s Soulèvement de la jeunesse juxtaposes footage of the uprisings with an abstract soundtrack of Lettrist spoken word and song. Meanwhile, filmmakers including Chris Marker, Alain Resnais, and Jean-Luc Godard anonymously created silent, political “ciné-tracts” using leftist and French modernist film techniques.

Après mai (Something In the Air) 
Part of Revolution in the Air
Olivier Assaysas, 2012, 122 min 
La Maison Française, Washington, D.C.
May 22, 7:00 PM 
Something in the Air tells the story of the after-May ‘68. It shows a group of high school students taken in by the political and creative turmoil of the times. Through romantic encounters and artistic discoveries, they will have to make definitive choices in order to find their place in these turbulent times.

Mourir à 30 ans (Half of A Life)
Romain Goupil, 1982, 97 min  
Logan Center for the Arts - University of Chicago
June 1, 7:00 PM 
Rarely seen in the United States, Romain Goupil’s documentary chronicles his and his friends’ firsthand experiences as militant, teenage Trotskyites in 1960s France during the heyday of French student movements that culminated with the events of May 1968. Michel Recanati was a part of Goupil’s activist entourage who committed suicide in 1978. Prompted by his death, Goupil crafts a vibrantly raw autobiographical essay-style film that uses found footage and a range of sources including photographs, home movies, and interviews.

Debates

George Washington University and the French Embassy in the U.S. are co-presenting this year’s Lafayette Debates, which will be held at the Embassy and George Washington University on April 7th and 8th, bringing together young orators from over 40 American universities for a debate competition in English on the theme of the May ’68 revolts.

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