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Protest in Paris, 1968
Serge Hambourg, Photo.; Katherine Hart, intro.; Thomas Crow, contrib.; M. Anne Sa'adah, contrib.

Hood Museum of Art
2006 • 88 pp. 57 illus. 11 x 11"
Photography / British & European History

$24.95 Paper, 978-0-944722-32-9

“The photographs of Serge Hambourg are wonderfully reproduced in this book. . . Hambourg’s photos focus, for example, on the detritus of the vacated barricades rather than on the violence of the confrontations of 10-11 May 1968. They memorialize the myth of ‘68 from an aesthetic angle.” The European Legacy: Toward New Paradigms

A moving reflection on historic events that re-shaped France

May 9 through 13, 1968 was the beginning of a time of upheaval and social spectacle that pitted students and workers against an unsympathetic government in a series of spirited protests that would fundamentally change France. This catalogue showcases photographs of the famous events by French photographer Serge Hambourg. Hambourg captured the various moods and moments of the protests, including powerful portraits of student leaders Jacques Sauvageot, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, and Alain Geismar, writer Louis Aragon, and filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard.

An essay by political scientist, M. Anne Sa’adah describes the intense frustration on the part of students, which escalated quickly into demonstrations and clashes between police and protestors. The inept reaction of the government in turn led to workers’ strikes, and the general upheaval precipitated the dissolution of the French National Assembly and new general elections. Paired with a critical essay by art historian, Thomas Crow that delves into the contemporary relevant arts scene of the time, this marriage of never-before-exhibited photographs and penetrating interpretation gives us a more tangible sense of the climate of dissent, of what it might have been like building barricades or defending the status quo in the capital of France in 1968.

These photographs of Paris will raise numerous questions. To those who study or lived through these events, they are a source of information and a spark to memory, what Serge Hambourg has described as a “slice of life” during a fascinating time. Hambourg captures the force of this cultural moment, and his photographs in turn become part of its memory, joining with written accounts by witnesses, political analyses, social commentary, filmed footage, films, posters, performance, art, novels, and other photographs in a patchwork of social science and artistic representation.

SERGE HAMBOURG is an independent photographer who in the 1960s and 1970s worked directly for the magazine, Le Nouvel Observateur and the newspaper, Le Figaro. He has also worked as a producer of television films and as a publicity photographer for several advertising agencies. His photographs have been reproduced in books, magazines, and journals, including Paris Match, New York Magazine and Time, and his work has been exhibited at museums and galleries around the world. He lives and works in Paris.

THOMAS CROW is Director of the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, and Professor of the History of Art at the University of Southern California. A contributing editor of Artforum, he writes frequently on contemporary art and cultural issues and has published several books including The Rise of the Sixties (1996, 2nd ed. 2005).

M. ANNE SA’ADAH is Joel Parker Professor of Law and Political Science at Dartmouth College. She is also the author of Contemporary France: A Democratic Education (2003) and The Shaping of Liberal Politics in Revolutionary France: A Comparative Perspective (1990), among others.

Tue, 15 Feb 2011 12:12:28 -0500