When the Situationist International was a little known revolutionary art group, before Guy Debord's philosophical masterpiece Society of the Spectacle was published, and before Paris' universities were occupied in May '68, a pamphlet succinctly titled On the Poverty of Student Life: Considered in Its Economic, Political, Psychological, Sexual, and Especially Intellectual Aspects, With a Modest Proposal for Doing Away With It created a scandal that would turn into a global revolt.
On the Poverty of Student Life was a match that recognized and described student and youth alienation, and the way it was printed and distributed spread that fire. For the first edition supporters of the SI appropriated school funds to make and distribute 10,000 copies. From there, dozens of editions were printed by worker- and student-run printing presses around the world, from Tunis to East London, from Tokyo to Detroit. This new edition highlights this global underground circulation and brings attention to the common conditions of students, workers, and anti-imperialist resistance in the world of the sixties--bringing that historic reckoning to the present.
Featuring a new translation by former SI member and celebrated translator Donald Nicholson-Smith, an interview with author Mustapha Khayati where he traces his map from colonial Algeria to imperial France to the university and the streets, and essays about the political relevance of the manifesto (then and now)--an edition like this has never before existed. With beautiful photographs of 79 different editions this book provides a cartography of an uprising.