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Situationists

Yannick Beaulieu


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The Situationist International (SI) was a European organization seeking to construct circumstances to disrupt the mundane and jolt people out of the monotony of ordinary life within capitalist systems. Founded in 1957, SI was influenced by Marxism and the European artistic avant-garde. In the 1960s, SI began advocating an array of sociopolitical reforms, but over the decade the group splintered into several organizations, including the Situationist Bauhaus, the Anti-national, and the Second SI. In May 1968, the SI was at the center of the student uprisings in France . Guy Debord (1931–94) , a poet, theorist, and filmmaker, was among the most prominent Situationists as well as co-founder of the Lettrist International (LI) with Gil J. Wolman (1929–95). Lettrism, established in Paris, was an avantgarde movement in the mid–1940s created by Isidore Isou (1925–2007). The LI was created by an extreme “left-wing” breakaway faction who disrupted a Charlie Chaplin press conference for Limelight in October 1952. At the press conference, members began chanting: “The footlights have melted the make-up of the supposedly brilliant mime. All we can see now is a lugubrious and mercenary old man. Go home Mister Chaplin!” LI was formally established by Debord and Wolman in December 1952. Both were instrumental in leading SI toward the Paris uprising of 1968. Debord's book Society of the Spectacle ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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