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Exhibition - France, Turkey & Czech Republic

May 68 by Bruno Barbey

"I came back to Paris in spring 1968, after a long trip to South East Asia (the Vietnam war was at its paroxysm) and Japan, where big riots were taking place. I photographed most of the Paris demonstrations : the 'Sorbonne crisis' as well as the moment it was abandoned, with students shouting 'Too late, civil police, the Sorbonne is no temple'. I also photographed the occupation of the Odeon theatre, the striking Renault factories, the burial of Gilles Tautin, the big pro-De Gaulle demonstration on the Champs-Elysees and the barricades in the Latin Quarter, on Rue Gay Lussac.

"For weeks my clothes were saturated by the persistent smell of tear gas. The ORTF (French public TV and radio network) was on strike, so with Godard, Chris Marker and others, we shot some short movies called "cinetracts", a kind of filmed version of our photos. These films were broadcast throughout France, deprived of TV and radio news due to strikes in the public service.

"The emergency was to communicate, to talk to each other, to question everything. It was the rebellion of a whole generation against what the society had in principle prepared for it, a rebellion against everything that came from above.

"Slogans covered the walls : 'It is forbidden to forbid', 'Beneath the cobble stones, the beach', 'Enjoy with no hindrances'... It was the rebellion of the youth of one of the richest countries in the world, just before the 1973 crash.

"May 68 was a 'necessary evil' as was the 'Prague Spring', or the crushing of Prague by the tanks of the Warsaw pact." - Bruno Barbey

Exhibition accompanied by the film by Caroline Thienot-Barbey: "MAY 68 seen by BRUNO BARBEY"

Locations and Dates: 

4 April - 23 May 2008    Fotografevi Galerie, Istanbul, Turkey 

15 April - 6 June 2008   Hôtel Fontfreyde, 34 Rue des Gras, 63000 Clermont Ferrand, France 

22 May - 14 June 2008    La Galerie des Editions du Pacifique, Paris, France 

9 October - 29 November 2008    Institut Francais de Prague,  Czech Republic 

Preview Exhibition

Hôtel Fontfreyde, Clermont Ferrand

Institut français de Prague, Czech Republic

La Galerie des Editions du Pacifique, Paris, France