Volume 3 | Issue 9 | Spring-Summer 2008


Volume 3 - Issue 9 - Editorial

By Gareth Evans, Holly Aylett

One of the most significant years in twentieth century history, politics and culture, 1968 saw an unprecedented response to militarism, autocratic hierarchies of power and significant corporate expansion across the world. Popularly imagined as a generational conflict, between students and an older order unable to comprehend the changes in values, ideals and lifestyles brought on by post-war economic, social and colonial shifts and the polarising US military presence in Vietnam, the events of 1968 offered an extended moment of global dissent to systems increasingly built around the fragmentation of social structures, the dismantling of economic securities...
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How the West Was Won

By Rebecca Taylor

Notting Hill 2007: a mannequin sporting a balaclava and khaki combats stands outside the Army Classics shop on Portobello Road, as Saturday shoppers jostle by. Rewind to Notting Hill 1967: in Portobello Road’s crumbling squats, balaclava-clad revolutionaries are honing up on their bomb-making skills...

Two Thousand Words: A Manifesto for Prague

By Ludvik Vaculik

The 2000 Words manifesto was written by Ludvik Vaculik and published in Prague in 1968. It was signed by numerous Czechoslovak writers, intellectuals and scholars and quickly became the primary document underpinning the Prague Spring.

Reverse Shot: Re-assembling the Invasion of Prague

By David Balfour

Walter Murch is perhaps the world’s leading sound designer and editor for film, as well as being a remarkable thinker on the broadest range of concerns. His work has received many accolades, including three Oscars.

21st August 1968: Remembering Resistance

By Jiřina Vojáčková

The Sixties brought a significant loosening of control in most aspects of life. Censorship eased and it became easier to visit the ‘West’ and to publish books that were previously banned (Čapek etc.). Despite this, everything was still governed by the Communists, but now, briefly, ‘with a human face’...

'68, Once Again: Image Preservation and the Women's Movement

By Helke Sander

In all the countries that are yet again taking up the label of ‘68’ on the occasion of its 40th anniversary, there will be photographs of mostly young men engaged in more or less dramatic confrontations with the state authorities ad nauseam.

Look Out, It’s Real!: J.G. Ballard on Mondo Cinema and the 1960s

By Mark Goodall

The author J.G. Ballard recognises the importance of mondo films. In his avant-garde classic The Atrocity Exhibition he acknowledges the influence of the mondo film, notably its style and its combinations of the real and the faked...

From the People of the Colour of the Earth: The Zapatista Statement

By Subcomandante Marcos | the EZLN

This remarkable statement, described by the leading US activist of 1968 and Senator Tom Hayden as perhaps ‘the most important expression of the indigenous dream in the last century’, was delivered to 250,000 people in 2001 in the heart of Mexico City...

Jonah After the Year 2000: How to Live and Love, Then and Now

By Joanne Barkan

Alain Tanner's 1976 film Jonah Who Will Be 25 in the Year 2000 qualified as an instant classic among my cohorts – American leftists of the Sixties generation. Ask a few if they saw the film years ago, and you'll probably get reactions like the ones I recently got...

A Letter from the Edge: Making and Surviving The Fall

By Peter Whitehead

A two hour film summed up in 850 words of flip jour-en-jour-nalism? New York 1968? My hell, failing to reconcile violent images, violent words. A mere documentary of newsreel clips? Hell no! I must be silent!

There Will Be no Cinema in Utopia

By John Jordan

I’ve always wanted to ask you about your experience of May 1968. You’d been living in Paris throughout the sixties, studying at the Sorbonne, then working for NATO. But on the eve of ’68 you were forced to relocate, De Gaulle kicked NATO out of France, you followed.

Work Song Two: A Vision

By Wendell Berry

If we will have the wisdom to survive, to stand like slow-growing trees on a ruined place, renewing, enriching it, if we will make our seasons welcome here, then a long time after we are dead

When I’m Gone

By Phil Ochs

There's no place in this world where I'll belong when I'm gone.  And I won't know the right from the wrong when I'm gone. And you won't find me singin' on this song when I'm gone. So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here.

Turn On, Tune In, Cop Out: The Commodification of Revolution

By Penny Rimbaud

Martin Luther King’s dream is no longer a dream, it is an intellectual commodity, a plastic wrapped piece of ersatz, a gift-shop platitude as far removed from its revolutionary roots as a Che Guevara T-shirt (one size fits all).

Street Posters from the Paris Rebellion

The posters of the Paris uprising of May 1968 comprise some of the most brilliant graphic works ever to have been associated with a movement for social and political change. Produced anonymously by art students and striking workers, the posters were distributed for free...

Into View: A Two Programme Dialogue

By Peter Todd | Ute Aurand

Isn't it true that there was a ‘revolution’ in filmmaking in the 1960s in the sense that all these (mostly short ) film experiments developed? I am convinced that it was a new beginning...of course with a past and a future... I do feel for my own filmmaking in this tradition.

Indymedia Collective: UK Mission Statement

By www.indymedia.org.uk

The Indymedia UK website provides an interactive platform for reports from the struggles for a world based on freedom, cooperation, justice and solidarity, and against environmental degradation, neoliberal exploitation, racism and patriarchy.


By César Vallejo

At the end of the battle, with the combatant dead, a man came up and told him: ‘don’t die, I love you so much!’ But the corpse, alas! Went on dying.

“Somewhere as Yet Undiscovered”: Thoughts on Power, Desk Killing and Resistance

By Dan Gretton

When an Italian friend first told me of Pasolini’s reaction to the events of 1968 in Italy, specifically the student occupations and the brutal response of the authorities – that he was “on the side of the police”...

Concerted Efforts: Remembering Rock Against Racism

By Mark Bedford

As well as the earth-shaking events of 1968, this Spring marks another anniversary worthy of commemoration: an anti-racist event that indelibly roused and rocked London almost exactly 10 years later, on April 30th 1978.

The Demonstration: Editing Unrest in Grosvenor Square

By Dai Vaughan

Sunday, 17 March 1968: the US Embassy, Grosvenor Square, London; packed on the sharp end of a zoom lens, a tsunami of anti-war protestors surged towards us along the length of Duke Street – or was it Brook Street?

Why Do You Make Films?: Film as a Bridge

By Víctor Erice

Why do I make films? I think it is out of necessity. A necessity with which we try to establish a relationship with others, through a dialogue with the secret interlocutor we all carry inside ourselves. And as Jean Renoir said, many years ago: “a film is made to create a bridge.”

A Desperate Utopian Dream - Pedro Costa: an Introduction

By Mark Peranson

Pedro Costa is one of the world’s greatest filmmakers, at very least one of the most relevant, and there’s nothing wilfully perverse in my statement. Watching his work gives me the chills; it’s a most mysterious, unusual, and unclassifiable oeuvre, one littered with ghosts of the past and the present.

Grosvenor Square: On Not Getting to Paris

By Iain Sinclair

There were discussions about the events of ’68, but nobody left for Paris. Direct action never got beyond the screenplay. After a morning scouring South London markets, we read American comics in the park, near Waterloo, waiting to meet Judith and Anna on their lunchbreak.

Revolutionary Space: The Situationist Excursions of 1968

By David Pinder

A map of the fifth arrondissement of Paris, dated May 10th 1968, shows Rue Gay-Lussac and numerous streets south of Place du Panthéon blocked by black lines.

Documenting a Revolution – The Newsreel Archive: Barbara Stone in conversation

By Verena Stackelberg

Founded in New York on an autumn day in 1967, Newsreel was created by a collective of journalists, filmmakers, photographers and those who were simply dissatisfied with the ‘establishment’ reportage of the mainstream media.

The Bric-a-brac of Memories: Reflections

By Tereza Stehlíková

Where did you come from girl, suspended in mid-air like an angel? What secret do you hold to conquer the force of gravity? The things – events, stories, objects, faces – which get remembered as opposed to all that is forgotten.

Theorem: Pasolini’s Family Affair

By James Norton

By 1968 the seminal Italian writer and film-maker Pier Paolo Pasolini was a radical star, but instead of issuing manifestoes and manning the barricades, he embraced a lucid mysticism and surprised and enraged the left with a polemic that thrust against the current.

Dreams of Distance: Bergman's Shame, a Borderlands View

By Graeme Hobbs

"Shame is not about the bombs; it is about the gradual infiltration of fear" – Ingmar Bergman.

End of The Road?: A Great Lost Film of 1968

By Lee Hill

One of the dilemmas facing filmmakers caught up in the heat of their times is how to document that sound and fury without ending up with work that signifies nothing. End of The Road, adapted from John Barth’s 1958 novel, tried to solve that problem in a go-for-broke fashion...

Getting Up Before the State: China and Change Since 1989

By Poppy Sebag Montefiore

Made in the late 1990s, underground filmmaker Zhang Huilin's personal documentary Hi Guys traces his friend Gao who sells pirate DVDs in a downtown Guangzhou department store: the improvised economy operating within the formal one.

Time Unfolding: Picture This and the Production of the Image

By Lucy Reynolds

Bristol-based Artists’ image commissioning and production agency Picture This has been producing film and video work with artists since 1991.

Decolonizing the Mind

By James Neil

With revolutions in Egypt (1952), Cuba (1959), Algeria (1962) and the newly independent countries of Africa in the 1950s and 1960s the ‘third world’ was placed firmly on the political world stage by 1968.

Three Images of May: Cinema and the Uprising

By Chris Darke

“In this election, it is a question of whether the heritage of May ’68 should be perpetuated or liquidated once and for all.''Nicolas Sarkozy, 29 April 2007

One to One: Jean-Luc Godard Speaks

By Mike Dibb

The following transcription, never previously published, is an amplified version of an interview made for the BBC TV programme Release but recorded in July of that year in Cowdray Park when JLG was just about to shoot the sequence on democracy for his first English language feature One Plus One.

The Hour of the Furnaces: Crafting a Revolutionary Cinema

By Mariano Mestman

La Hora de los Hornos (The Hour of the Furnaces, 1968) broke onto the international scene in a situation characterised by the consolidation of the New Latin American Cinema, the emergence of the new African cinemas and the rise of a militant European cinema...

Do Impossible Things: 1968 and its Legacies

By Sukhdev Sandhu

1968, like 1956 or 1989, is a year whose convulsive, combustible energies are ill-served by the commemoration industry. Every decade the archives are raided for stock footage: French students hurling stones at the police; a young woman, scantily dressed and swaying in blissed-out reverie...

Message from...’68: The News, the Stories, the Photographs

By International Herald Tribune

...it is easy to forget that only 40 years ago daily newspapers – and news programmes – were hotly anticipated because they provided a window onto what was happening in the world.

1968: The Year that Was, Was many Things

By Tony Elliott

This year’s retrospectives have made out that 1968 was dominated by the Paris riots and the Grosvenor Square kind of anti-Vietnam demonstration. From these views it would be easy for younger readers to assume politics was the most dominant thread in our lives. It wasn’t.

From Tet to Iraq: 40 Years of Conflict and Resistance

By Mike Marqusee

This year marks the 40th anniversary of an event that seemed to turn the world upside down. In the early hours of 31 January 1968, soldiers of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam and the Army of North Vietnam launched what came to be known as the Tet Offensive...

Come to the edge

Come to the edge.
We might fall.
Come to the edge.

1968: And it All Started in Vietnam

By Philip Jones Griffiths

The flowers bloomed in 1968. The peoples of the world who had lost hope found some. Great social movements were invigorated and there was confidence that “they” – the repressive forces – were on the run.

Volume 3 – Issue 9 – Spring/Summer 2008

This issue is dedicated to the memory of Philip Jones Grifiths, for his remarkable photographs and for a life spent speaking truth to power through the image – tirelessly, internationally and for a justice between peoples.

“If we appear to seek the unattainable, it has been said, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable.” – Port Huron Statement; Students for a Democratic Society,1962

Managing Editor: Holly Aylett
Editor: Gareth Evans
Assistant Editor: Nancy Harrison
Website: Chris Lane
Marketing Manager: Peter Fraser
Publication Manager: Nancy Harrison
Online Editor: Robert Chilcott
Newsletter: Alexandra Dorisca

Editorial Board: Holly Aylett, Michael Chanan, Gareth Evans, James Leahy, Thessa Mooij, Hannah Patterson, Julian Petley, Sheila Whitaker.

Advisory Board: John Akomfrah, Asu Aksoy, Yossi Bal, Gill Branston, Robert Chilcott, Don Coutts, David Curtis, Margaret Dickinson, Catherine Elwes, Alan Fountain, Lina Gopaul, Keith Griffiths, Sylvia Harvey, Judith Higginbottom, Asif Kapadia, Ruth Lingford, Sarah McCarthy, Martin McLoone, Robin MacPherson, Kevin Rockett, Keith Shiri, Sarah Turner.

Printed by: Cambrian Printers Ltd.

With Special Thanks to: Yoram Allon, Bad Idea Magazine, Tom Bell, Sarah Bemand, Natalie Brady, Peter Chappell, Curzon Cinemas, Steven Eastwood (OMSK), John Gianvito, Antonia Hazelrigg (UKFC), Ed Husayko (Facets), Steve Lewis (Artificial Eye), Julie Lomax (ACE), Tona McFarling, Rachel Millward (BEV), Mehelli Modi (Second Run), Onagono, Alice O’Reilly (tank. tv), Gautham Ravindran, Jill Reading (BFI), Alexandra Roach, Francesca Sears, Sylvia Stevens, Verena Von Stackelberg, Vanessa Whittall, Sophie Wright.

Original Print Edition published with financial assistance from: Arts Council England, UK Film Council.