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MAY 1968 GRAFFITI

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Dans le décor spectaculaire, le regard ne rencontre que les choses et leur prix. In the decor of the spectacle, the eye meets only things and their prices.
Métro, boulot, dodo. Commute, work, commute, sleep…
Et cependant tout le monde veut respirer et personne ne peut respirer et beaucoup disent «nous respirerons plus tard». Et la plupart ne meurent pas car ils sont déjà morts. Meanwhile everyone wants to breathe and nobody can and many say, “We will breathe later.” And most of them don’t die because they are already dead.
L’ennui est contre-révolutionnaire. Boredom is counterrevolutionary.
Nous ne voulons pas d’un monde où la certitude de ne pas mourir de faim s’échange contre le risque de mourir d’ennui. We don’t want a world where the guarantee of not dying of starvation brings the risk of dying of boredom.
Nous voulons vivre. We want to live.
Le droit de vivre ne se mendie pas, il se prend. Don’t beg for the right to live — take it.
Dans une société qui abolit toute aventure, la seule aventure possible c’est l’abolition de cette société. In a society that has abolished every kind of adventure the only adventure that remains is to abolish the society.
L’émancipation de l’homme sera totale ou ne sera pas. The liberation of humanity is all or nothing.
Ceux qui font les révolutions à moitié ne font que se creuser un tombeau. Those who make revolutions half way only dig their own graves.
Pas de replâtrage, la structure est pourrie. No replastering, the structure is rotten.
Le masochisme aujourd’hui prend la forme du réformisme. Masochism today takes the form of reformism.
Réforme mon cul. Reform my ass.
La révolution est incroyable parce que vraie. The revolution is incredible because it’s really happening.
Je suit venu. J’ai vu. J’ai cru. I came, I saw, I was won over.
Cours, camarade, le vieux monde est derrière toi! Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!
Vite! Quick!
Pourvu qu’ils nous laissent le temps… If we only have enough time…
En tout cas pas de remords! In any case, no regrets!
Déjà dix jours de bonheur. Already ten days of happiness.
Vivre au présent. Live in the moment.
Camarades, si tout le peuple faisait comme nous… Comrades, if everyone did like us…
On ne revendiquera rien, on ne demandera rien.
On prendra, on occupera.
We will ask nothing.
We will demand nothing.
We will take, occupy.
À bas l’État. Down with the state.
Quand l’assemblée nationale devient un théâtre bourgeois, tous les théâtres bourgeois doivent devenir des assemblées nationales.
[À l’entrée de l’Odéon.]
When the National Assembly becomes a bourgeois theater, all the bourgeois theaters should be turned into national assemblies.
[Written above the entrance of the occupied Odéon Theater]
Plebicit : qu’on dise oui qu’on dise non il fait de nous des cons. Referendum: whether we vote yes or no, it turns us into suckers.
Il est douloureux de subir les chefs, il est encore plus bête de les choisir. It’s painful to submit to our bosses; it’s even more stupid to choose them.
Ne changeons pas d’employeurs, changeons l’emploi de la vie. Let’s not change bosses, let’s change life.
Ne me libère pas, je m’en charge. Don’t liberate me — I’ll take care of that.
Je ne suis pas au service de personne (pas même du peuple et encore moins de ses dirigeants) ; le peuple se servira tout seul. I’m not a servant of the people (much less of their self-appointed leaders). Let the people serve themselves.
Abolition de la société de classes. Abolish class society.
La Nature n’a fait ni serviteurs ni maîtres, je ne veux donner ni recevoir d’ordres. Nature created neither servants nor masters. I want neither to rule nor to be ruled.
Un bon maître, nous en aurons un dès que chacun sera le sien. We will have good masters as soon as everyone is their own.
« Dans la révolution, il y a deux sortes de gens : ceux qui la font, et ceux qui en profitent. »
(Napoléon)
“In revolution there are two types of people: those who make it and those who profit from it.”
(Napoleon)
Attention : les arrivistes et les ambitieux peuvent se travestir en prenant un masque « socialard ». Warning: ambitious careerists may now be disguised as “progressives.”
Ne nous laissons pas bouffer par les politicards et leur démagogie boueuse. Ne comptons que sur nous mêmes. Le socialisme sans la liberté, c’est la caserne. Don’t be taken in by the politicos and their filthy demagogy. We must rely on ourselves. Socialism without freedom is a barracks.
Tout pouvoir abuse. Le pouvoir absolu abuse absolument. All power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Nous voulons les structures au service de l’homme et non pas l’homme au service des structures. We want structures that serve people, not people serving structures.
La révolution n’est pas seulement celle des comités mais avant tout la vôtre. The revolution doesn’t belong to the committees, it’s yours.
La politique se passe dans la rue. Politics is in the streets.
La barricade ferme la rue mais ouvre la voie. Barricades close the streets but open the way.
Notre espoir ne peut venir que des sans-espoir. Our hope can come only from the hopeless.
Est prolétaire celui qui n’a aucun pouvoir sur l’emploi de sa vie et qui le sait. A proletarian is someone who has no power over his life and knows it.
Ne travaillez jamais. Never work.
Les gens qui travaillent s’ennuient quand ils ne travaillent pas. Les gens qui ne travaillent pas ne s’ennuient jamais. People who work get bored when they don’t work. People who don’t work never get bored.
Travailleurs de tous les pays, amusez-vous ! Workers of all countries, enjoy!
Depuis 1936, je me suis battu pour des revendications de salaire; mon père, avant moi, s’est battu pour des revendications de salaire. J’ai la T.V., un refrigérateur, une Volkswagen. Au total, je n’ai jamais cessé d’avoir une vie de con. Ne négociez pas avec les patrons. Abolissez-les. Since 1936 I have fought for wage increases. My father before me fought for wage increases. Now I have a TV, a fridge, a Volkswagen. Yet my whole life has been a drag. Don’t negotiate with the bosses. Abolish them.
Le patron a besoin de toi, tu n’as pas besoin de lui. The boss needs you, you don’t need the boss.
C’est en arrêtant nos machines dans l’unité que nous démontrons leur faiblesse. By stopping our machines together we will demonstrate their weakness.
Occupation des usines. Occupy the factories.
Tout le pouvoir aux conseils ouvriers (un enragé). Power to the workers councils. (an enragé)
Tout le pouvoir aux conseils enragés (un ouvrier). Power to the enragés councils. (a worker)
Travailleur : tu as 25 ans mais ton syndicat est de l’autre siècle. Worker: You may be only 25 years old, but your union dates from the last century.
Les syndicats sont des bordels. Labor unions are whorehouses.
Camarades, lynchons Séguy ! Comrades, let’s lynch Séguy! [Georges Séguy: head bureaucrat of the Communist Party-dominated labor union]
Veuillez laisser le Parti communiste aussi nette en en sortant que vous voudriez le trouver en y entrant. Please leave the Communist Party as clean on leaving it as you would like to find it on entering.
Staliniens, vos fils sonts avec nous ! Stalinists, your children are with us!
L’homme n’est ni le bon sauvage de Rousseau,
ni le pervers de l’église et de La Rochefoucauld.
Il est violent quand on l’opprime, il est doux quand il est libre.
Man is neither Rousseau’s noble savage nor the Church’s or La Rochefoucauld’s depraved sinner. He is violent when oppressed, gentle when free.
« Le combat est père de toute chose. »
(Héraclite)
"Conflict is the origin of everything."
(Heraclitus)
Si besoin était de recourir à la force, ne restez pas au milieu. If we have to resort to force, don’t sit on the fence.
Soyons cruels. Be cruel.
L’humanité ne sera heureuse que le jour où le dernier capitaliste aura été pendu avec les tripes du dernier bureaucrate. Humanity won’t be happy till the last capitalist is hung with the guts of the last bureaucrat.
Quand le dernier des sociologues aura été pendu avec les tripes du dernier bureaucrate, aurons-nous encore des « problèmes » ? When the last sociologist has been hung with the guts of the last bureaucrat, will we still have “problems”?
La passion de la destruction est une joie créatrice.
(Bakounine)
The passion of destruction is a creative joy.
(Bakunin)
Un seul week-end non révolutionnaire est infiniment plus sanglant qu’un mois de révolution permanente. A single nonrevolutionary weekend is infinitely more bloody than a month of total revolution.
Les larmes des Philistins sont le nectar des dieux. The tears of philistines are the nectar of the gods.
Cela nous concerne tous.
[ou Cela te concerne aussi.]
This concerns everyone.
Nous sommes tous des juifs allemands. We are all German Jews.
Nous refusons d’être H.L.M.isés, diplomés, recensés, endoctrinés, sarcellisés, sermonnés, matraqués, télémanipulés, gazés, fichés. We refuse to be highrised, diplomaed, licensed, inventoried, registered, indoctrinated, suburbanized, sermonized, beaten, telemanipulated, gassed, booked.
Nous sommes tous des « indésirables ». We are all “undesirables.”
Nous devons rester « inadaptés ». We must remain “unadapted.”
La forêt précède l’homme, le désert le suit. The forest precedes man, the desert follows him.
Sous les pavés, la plage. Under the paving stones, the beach.
Le béton éduque l’indifférence.
[ou le bâton, d’après quelques sources]
Concrete breeds apathy.
Ici, bientôt, de charmantes ruines. Coming soon to this location: charming ruins.
Belle, peut-être pas, mais ô combien charmant. La vie contre la survie. Beautiful, maybe not, but O how charming: life versus survival.
« Je me propose d’agiter et d’inquiéter les gens. Je ne vends pas le pain mais la levure. »
(Unamuno)
“My aim is to agitate and disturb people. I’m not selling bread, I’m selling yeast.”
(Unamuno)
Le conservatisme est synonyme de pourriture et de laideur. Conservatism is a synonym for rottenness and ugliness.
Vous êtes creux. You are hollow.
Vous finirez tous par crever du confort. You will end up dying of comfort.
Cache-toi, objet ! Hide yourself, object!
Non à la révolution en cravate. No to coat-and-tie revolution.
Une révolution qui demande que l’on se sacrifie pour elle est une révolution à la papa. A revolution that requires us to sacrifice ourselves for it is Papa’s revolution.
La révolution cesse dès l’instant qu’il faut se sacrifier pour elle. Revolution ceases to be the moment it calls for self-sacrifice.
La perspective de jouir demain ne me consolera jamais de l’ennui d’aujourd’hui. The prospect of finding pleasure tomorrow will never compensate for today’s boredom.
Quand les gens s’aperçoivent qu’ils s’ennuient, ils cessent de s’ennuyer. When people notice they are bored, they stop being bored.
Le bonheur est une idée neuve. Happiness is a new idea.
Vivre sans temps mort. Live without dead time.
Ceux qui parlent de révolution et de lutte des classes sans se référer à la réalité quotidienne parlent avec un cadavre dans la bouche. Those who talk about revolution and class struggle without referring to everyday reality have a corpse in their mouth.
La culture est l’inversion de la vie. Culture is an inversion of life.
La poésie est dans la rue. Poetry is in the streets.
La plus belle sculpture, c’est le pavé qu’on jette sur la gueule des flics. The most beautiful sculpture is a paving stone thrown at a cop’s head.
L’art est mort, ne consommez pas son cadavre. Art is dead, don’t consume its corpse.
L’art est mort, libérons notre vie quotidienne. Art is dead, let’s liberate our everyday life.
L’art est mort. Godard n’y pourra rien. Art is dead, Godard can’t change that.
Godard : le plus con des Suisses pro-chinois ! Godard: the supreme Swiss Maoist jerk.
Vibration permanente et culturelle. Permanent cultural vibration.
Nous voulons une musique sauvage et éphémère.
Nous proposons une régénération fondamentale :
grève de concerts
des meetings sonores : séances d’investigation collectives
suppression du droit d’auteur,
les structures sonores appartiennent à chacun.
We want a wild and ephemeral music.
We propose a fundamental regeneration:
concert strikes,
sound gatherings with collective investigation.
Abolish copyrights: sound structures belong to everyone.
L’anarchie, c’est je. Anarchy is me.
Révolution, je t’aime. Revolution, I love you.
À bas le sommaire, vive l’éphémère.
(Jeunesse Marxiste Pessimiste)
Down with the abstract, long live the ephemeral.
(Marxist-Pessimist Youth)
Ne consommons pas Marx. Don’t consume Marx, live him.
Je suis marxiste tendance Groucho. I’m a Groucho Marxist.
Je prends mes désirs pour la réalité
car je crois en la réalité de mes désirs.
I take my desires for reality because I believe in the reality of my desires.
Désirer la réalité, c’est bien ! Réaliser ses désirs, c’est mieux ! Desiring reality is great! Realizing your desires is even better!
Prenez vos désirs pour des réalités. Practice wishful thinking.
Je décrète l’état de bonheur permanent. I declare a permanent state of happiness.
Soyez réalistes, demandez l’impossible. Be realistic, demand the impossible.
L’imagination au pouvoir. Power to the imagination.
Manquer d’imagination, c’est ne pas imaginer le manque. Those who lack imagination cannot imagine what is lacking.
Imagination n’est pas don mais par excellence objet de conquête.
(Breton)
Imagination is not a gift, it must be conquered.
(Breton)
L’action ne doit pas être une réaction mais une création. Action must not be a reaction, but a creation.
L’action permet de surmonter les divisions et de trouver des solutions. Action enables us to overcome divisions and find solutions.
Exagérer, c’est commencer d’inventer. Exaggeration is the beginning of invention.
L’ennemi du mouvement, c’est le scepticisme. Tout ce qui a été
réalisé vient du dynamisme qui découle de la spontanéité.
The enemy of movement is skepticism. Everything that has been realized comes from dynamism, which comes from spontaneity.
Ici, on spontane. Here, we spontane.
« Il faut porter en soi un chaos pour mettre au monde une étoile dansante. »
(Nietzsche)
“You must bear a chaos inside you to give birth to a dancing star.”
(Nietzsche)

Chance must be systematically explored.

Alcohol kills. Take LSD.

Unbutton your mind as often as your fly.

“Every view of things that is not strange is false.”
(Valéry)

Life is elsewhere.

Forget everything you’ve been taught. Start by dreaming.

Form dream committees.

Dare! This word contains all the politics of the present moment.
(Saint-Just)

Arise, ye wretched of the university.

Students are jerks.

The student’s susceptibility to recruitment as a militant for
any cause is a sufficient demonstration of his real impotence.
(enragé women)

Professors, you make us grow old.

Terminate the university.

Rape your Alma Mater.

What if we burned the Sorbonne?

Professors, you are as senile as your culture, your modernism
is nothing but the modernization of the police.

We refuse the role assigned to us: we will not be trained as police dogs.

We don’t want to be the watchdogs or servants of capitalism.

Exams = servility, social promotion, hierarchical society.

When examined, answer with questions.

Insolence is the new revolutionary weapon.

Every teacher is taught, everyone taught teaches.

The Old Mole of history seems to be splendidly undermining the Sorbonne.
(telegram from Marx, 13 May 1968)

Thought that stagnates rots.

To call in question the society you “live” in, you must first
be capable of calling yourself in question.

Take revolution seriously, but don’t take yourself seriously.

The walls have ears. Your ears have walls.

Making revolution also means breaking our internal chains.

A cop sleeps inside each one of us. We must kill him.

Drive the cop out of your head.

Religion is the ultimate con.

Neither God nor master.

If God existed it would be necessary to abolish him.

Can you believe that some people are still Christians?

Down with the toad of Nazareth.

How can you think freely in the shadow of a chapel?

We want a place to piss, not a place to pray.

I suspect God of being a leftist intellectual.

The bourgeoisie has no other pleasure than to degrade all pleasures.

Going through the motions kills the emotions.

Struggle against the emotional fixations that paralyze our potentials.
(Committee of Women on the Path of Liberation)

Constraints imposed on pleasure incite the pleasure of living without constraints.

The more I make love, the more I want to make revolution.
The more I make revolution, the more I want to make love.

SEX: It’s okay, says Mao, as long as you don’t do it too often.

Comrades, 5 hours of sleep a day is indispensable:
we need you for the revolution.

Embrace your love without dropping your guard.

I love you!!! Oh, say it with paving stones!!!

I’m coming in the paving stones.

Total orgasm.

Comrades, people are making love in the Poli Sci classrooms, not only in the fields.

Revolutionary women are more beautiful.

Zelda, I love you! Down with work!

The young make love, the old make obscene gestures.

Make love, not war.

Whoever speaks of love destroys love.

Down with consumer society.

The more you consume, the less you live.

Commodities are the opium of the people.

Burn commodities.

You can’t buy happiness. Steal it.

See Nanterre and live. Die in Naples with Club Med.

Are you a consumer or a participant?

To be free in 1968 means to participate.

I participate.
You participate.
He participates.
We participate.
They profit.

The golden age was the age when gold didn’t reign.

“The cause of all wars, riots and injustices is the existence of property.”
(St. Augustine)

Happiness is hanging your landlord.

Millionaires of the world unite. The wind is turning.

The economy is wounded — I hope it dies!

How sad to love money.

You too can steal.

“Amnesty: An act in which the rulers pardon the injustices they have committed.”
(Ambrose Bierce)
[The definition in Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary is actually: “Amnesty: The state’s
magnanimity to those offenders whom it would be too expensive to punish.”]

Abolish alienation.

Obedience begins with consciousness;
consciousness begins with disobedience.

First, disobey; then write on the walls.
(Law of 10 May 1968)

I don’t like to write on walls.

Write everywhere.

Before writing, learn to think.

I don’t know how to write but I would like to say beautiful things and I don’t know how.

I don’t have time to write!!!

I have something to say but I don’t know what.

Freedom is the right to silence.

Long live communication, down with telecommunication.

You, my comrade, you whom I was unaware of amid the tumult,
you who are throttled, afraid, suffocated — come, talk to us.

Talk to your neighbors.

Yell.

Create.

Look in front of you!!!

Help with cleanup, there are no maids here.

Revolution is an INITIATIVE.

Speechmaking is counterrevolutionary.

Comrades, stop applauding, the spectacle is everywhere.

Don’t get caught up in the spectacle of opposition. Oppose the spectacle.

Down with spectacle-commodity society.

Down with journalists and those who cater to them.

Only the truth is revolutionary.

No forbidding allowed.

Freedom is the crime that contains all crimes. It is our ultimate weapon.

The freedom of others extends mine infinitely.

No freedom for the enemies of freedom.

Free our comrades.

Open the gates of the asylums, prisons and other faculties.

Open the windows of your heart.

To hell with boundaries.

You can no longer sleep quietly once you’ve suddenly opened your eyes.

The future will only contain what we put into it now.

These graffiti are drawn primarily from Julien Besançon’s Les murs ont la parole (Tchou, 1968), Walter Lewino’s L’imagination au pouvoir (Losfeld, 1968), Marc Rohan’s Paris ’68 (Impact, 1968), René Viénet’s Enragés et situationnistes dans le mouvement des occupations (Gallimard, 1968), Maurice Brinton’s Paris: May 1968 (Solidarity, 1968), and Gérard Lambert’s Mai 1968: brûlante nostalgie (Pied de nez, 1988).
Some were written by the situationists or the Enragés, or are quotes from SI writings, but many of the others clearly reflect a more or less situationist spirit, whether they were directly influenced by the SI, or because situationist ideas were in the air, or simply because the liberated reality was generating situationist-style feelings and insights.
This translation by Ken Knabb is from the Situationist International Anthology (Revised and Expanded Edition, 2006). No copyright.


http://www.bopsecrets.org/CF/graffiti.htm
http://www.bopsecrets.org/French/graffiti.htm
http://users.skynet.be/ddz/mai68/slogans-68.html

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