At the Heart of The Student Revolt in France
Bruno Barbey (As witnessed by), Philippe Tesson (Presented by)
Series : Great Photographers
ISBN : 978-981-4610-68-1
Radio, television and newspapers… The media played a major role in the events of May 1968, both for the government and the demonstrators. While the popular posters of the times depicted the CRS (French riot police) manning the microphones at the ORTF (French broadcasting service), the papers and the radio stations took up the defence of the student protestors. Bruno Barbey of the Magnum Agency covered the events until mid-June. He captured the daily life of the protesters, students and factory workers, immortalising key moments. He recorded nights full of violence and confrontation over the course of these months whose events reverberated to the very heart of State power. From the very beginning of the protests, the entire press corps seized upon the events, but only the daily newspaper Combat, created during the Second World War, was on the side of the young or at least until the violence erupted. Philippe Tesson, who was Editor-in-Chief at the time, relates his memories of the time in an account never before published. May 68: at the Heart of the Student Revolt brings together the contemporary eye of Barbey and the pen of Tesson who, fifty years later, reflects upon those few weeks that shook France to its core.
French-born Bruno Barbey has been a photographer for more than 50 years and is recognised for his free and harmonious use of colour. During the 1960s, he was commissioned by Éditions Rencontre in Lausanne to report from European and African countries and he also contributed to Vogue. Over five decades, he regularly journeyed across five continents to photograph civil wars in Nigeria, Vietnam, the Middle East, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Kuwait. His work has appeared in major magazines worldwide.
Barbey began his relationship with Magnum Photos in 1964 and became a full member in 1968, the year he documented the political unrest and student riots in Paris. Between 1979 and 1981, he photographed Poland at a turning point in its history which is captured in his widely acclaimed book Poland.
Barbey has received many awards for his work, including the French National Order of Merit. His photographs have been exhibited internationally and are in numerous museum collections. He has also published over 25 books.
A PhD in Literature, Philippe Tesson has in turn been a journalist, editorial writer, magazine owner and theatre director.
After making his début at Combat, where he became editor-in-chief from 1960 to 1974, he left to found Le Quotidien de Paris, followed by Le Quotidien du Médecin, of which he remained managing director until 1994, in parallel with his activity as a literary journalist.
Tesson’s passion for the theatre led him to work as a critic from the early 1970s on, first at Le Canard Enchaîné, then at L’Express and Le Figaro.
Director of Les Editions de l’Avant-Scène, in 2012 he took over the Théâtre de Poche-Montparnasse, which he manages with his daughter Stéphanie and Charlotte Rondelez.
He continues his concurrent work as a columnist and editorial writer on both radio and television, and today shares his editorials on France’s Radio Classique as well as the website of Le Point.