There are many versions of how May '68's most famous slogan came about. We are choosing one of them. During a discussion with a Renault worker in Billancourt, a trade unionist apparently shouted out in reply to a student who had called for solidarity between students and workers that: "You must remain realistic and not demand the impossible." The photographer and publisher Jean Mascolo claims that it was in a reaction to this that he painted the slogan on a wall in Paris.

In this debate we look back at the events of May '68 while also exploring the roots of the revolt and its legacy.
We do this with Tariq Ali who was active as a student leader at Oxford at the time. He went to Bolivia, where Che Guevara was in prison, to attend the trial of Régis Debray and today is a major figure among British intellectuals of the Left.
With De jaren zestig [The Sixties], the Flemish writer and academic Geert Buelens wrote a reference work in which he makes a cultural and historical analysis of this troubled and crucial decade.
Discussion moderated by Karl van den Broeck (BOZAR).

Did you know?

  • Cultural workers of the world, unite!

    May ‘68 made it as far as the Centre for Fine Arts. On the evening of 28 May 1968, artists and writers gathered in a Brussels café. They all wanted to mark the event with an immediate collective action... And what an action it was!

    — published on
  • Drawing inspiration from may ‘68, with the benefit of hindsight

    According to Geert Buelens we shouldn’t commemorate May ‘68, but rather learn from our mistakes and act accordingly. The issue today, isn’t the past, but the future.

    — published on
  • Cooking with the heart

    Twice a week Collectactif organises tables d’hôtes that are open to everyone. The price of the meal is up to you: people pay what they want or what they feel able to.

    — published on