The Legacy of '68 is in good hands - Alain Geismar

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"Sous les pavés la plage !"

Alain Geismar's revolutionary spirit.

 

Fifty years ago, Alain Geismar fought the authorities during the May ’68 Paris protests. Today he fought technical difficulties during the panel at De Balie. His speech was in French; the projected subtitles in English - and defective. The annoyed sighs in the audience turned to thunderous applause when Geismar, with a faint British accent, mumbled “I can continue in English.”

“The direction of the May ’68 movement, on any given day, was determined during the night before. ’68 was only defined by its actions. It was the unplanned culmination of a much broader series of events, and should never be decoupled from its global context.”

France may have been bored – the audience wasn’t.

The juxtaposition between the grey Geismar and the much younger follow-up talks – Swiss activist Flavia Kleiner, Polish-Belgian author Alicja Gescinka and Belgian journalist Thomas Decreus – did not extend beyond the melanin-levels of their hair. The fiery spirit of the old Frenchman and his seemingly unfaltering desire to smash the status quo was easily matched by his younger companions.

It seems that the inheritance of ’68 is in good hands.