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The visual culture of the images of the revolt (1968/1977)

Francesca Fatta

Abstract


In 2018 celebrations were launched to mark the first 50 years since the youth revolution of the Parisian Mai 68. The desire to commemorate what 1968 had been - namely, the season that forever changed the world and its customs - was felt so intensely by the world of culture that debates were organized, exhibitions set up and publications realized not only in Europe, but in many other parts of the world as well. The theme of the urban struggle and the revolutionary artistic explosions after the Second World War can be read very well in the changed idea of the city. The city was increasingly lived as a place to be re-conquered, a political space for experimenting common projects of freedom, solidarity and sharing. Corresponding to these claims there was a gigantic quantity of images, of which a certain number would remain the archetype of the 1968-1977 decade; from the psychedelic graphic art of the American West Coast, to the essential clenched fist icons of May 68, to the portraits of the new idols of the period’s youth. The city entered into an imagery thought of as creative activity, as a source of utopias and images of the desired future society, to celebrate “imagination seizing power”. The posters mentioned were chosen not so much for their aesthetic qualities as, instead, to show the relationship between the different theories and the different forms of revolt that characterized the period covered. These posters helped to enliven the scene of the turbulent street theater. At the heart of this conflict lies the very concept of communication, radically subverted by a new generation that made protest a lever for a change to civil rights and a renewal of politics.


Keywords


visual culture, revolt, affiches, posters, sixtyeight

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Copyright (c) 2020 Francesca Fatta

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