Alt Sheff

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Lessons from May 1968

Tue 15 Mar 2011, 5-7pm, Room 40 Victoria Hall, Norfolk Street (Sheffield centre)

'My most lasting impression was not, in fact, the barricades, the CRS or the tear gas. It was the feeling of excitement and coming alive in a way few had ever dreamed possible. For the few weeks of May 43 years ago, people took control of their lives and let their imagination shine through. People from all walks of life had congregated in the boulevards and taken delight in discussing how things could be changed. A whole generation had a profound experience of how very different our society could be. The vivid memory of that experience has stayed with us, guiding our lives. This is the great and lasting success of May, 1968'This is a quote from a friend who went to join in the revolution on the streets in Paris, May 1968. Cairo February 2011 must have been very like this – what will it bring? The importance of 1968 was that it heralded a mass shift in consciousness which profoundly changed the values of society on every level. It forced people to question some of the certainties of the 1950s and led to people in general rethinking the way society was organised, the way people related to one another, the position of Black people and women within the society. It also led to people considering alliances with other groups, and brought thinking about politics into everyday life.We will be questioning some of the mythologies about 1968 and showing how this was not a simple alternative lifestyle choice, but rather an overthrowing of some of the certainties about how we live. We will be looking at this experience and its aftermath. The Situationists talked about the revolution of everyday life, and we will be looking at how this took place, in words and picturesJenny Fortune and Sara Mills introduce a session by Sheffield Universal Education Collective, which promotes free and radical, open and democratic education space in the city, sessions that both critically think about the world around us and explore means to changing it. Sheffield Universal Education Collective website

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