To mark the 50th anniversary of the May 1968 student protests and general strikes in France, the University of Kent Paris School of Arts and Culture presents the third annual MA Festival and Conference: REVOLUTIONS.
The events of 1968 began in the Latin Quarter of Paris with students protesting an outdated university system and insufficient employment opportunities after graduation. Following a demonstration at the Sorbonne on 3rd May where students were arrested in their hundreds, courses at the university were suspended and students then took their protest to the streets as a result. Barricades were built and the number of student protestors in the city rose to 40,000. Rioting began on 10th May and lead to the arrest and hospitalisation of hundreds. After this day, wildcat general strikes swept the whole country involving several million workers. Authorities feared a radical socialist revolution as the Latin Quarter lay in ruin and industry in France came to a standstill. Violence and strikes continued throughout May and into June of 1968.
Based at Reid Hall in Montparnasse, just a stone’s throw away from the Latin Quarter, the University of Kent finds itself at the heart of the lively left-bank of Paris. Since the 1890s, Reid Hall has been a space for intellectuals and creatives, with an intermission during the First World War where the building was used as a hospital for French and American officers, the building has since returned to its academic roots and today houses universities from America and the United Kingdom.
From 4th – 8th June 2018, students of the Paris School of Arts and Culture will host an interdisciplinary programme of events dedicated to history, film, literature, visual arts and music, to remember not only May 1968 but moments of protest, resistance and innovation throughout history.
We will be highlighting the different events in the upcoming weeks and you can discover the entire festival programme here.