5th republic


Last cover of Hara Kiri

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In 1960, Georges Bernier, Cavanna and Fred Aristidès created the monthly satirical magazine Hara-Kiri. Hara Kiri Hebdo, its weekly counterpart, was first published in 1969.

Hara Kiri editions, subtitled “Journal bête et méchant” (Stupid and vicious magazine), were constantly aiming at established powers, be they political parties or institutions like the Church or the State. In 1961 and 1966 the monthly magazine was temporarily banned by the French Government.

In November 1970, following the death of general de Gaulle at his home in Colombey-les-Deux-Églises, Hara-Kiri Hebdo bore the headline « Bal tragique à Colombey : 1 mort » (English: Tragic ball at Colombey: 1 death).

The choice of the title refers to a tragedy of the same month: a fire at a discothèque where 146 people were killed. As a result, the magazine was immediately and permanently banned from sale to minors and publicity by the minister of the interior Raymond Marcellin.

Des policiers, membres des CRS, manient la matraque rue Saint-Jacques à Paris lors des heurts entre les manifestants appelés par l'Unef et les forces de l'ordre qui bouclaient le Quartier Latin le 6 mai 1968.

On the 6th of May 1968, CRS (Republican Security Companies, riot control forces) using the baton on street Saint Jean in Paris during fights between the Student Union UNEF and the police in the Quartier Latin. @credits

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“Encore” (demo) from 5th Republic (a new musical) featuring Laura Osnes

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5th Republic DEMO - Encore (Featuring Laura Osnes)

Jacques Mesrine was the most famous criminal in modern French history. He was responsible for numerous bank robberies, burglaries, and kidnappings in France and Canada. Mesrine repeatedly escaped from prison and made international headlines during a final period as a fugitive when his exploits included trying to kidnap a judge who had sentenced him. An aptitude for disguise earned him the moniker “The Man of a Hundred Faces” and enabled him to remain at large while receiving massive publicity as a wanted man. Mesrine was widely seen as an anti-establishment ‘Robin Hood’ figure, in keeping with this image he was rarely without a glamorous female companion

A woman walks her dogs near the ‘Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads’ installation by Ai Weiwei, the Chinese activist and artist, which is on display in front of the National Gallery in Prague, Czech Republic, February 5th 2016. Ai Weiwei has wrapped the twelve bronze animal heads with thermal blankets to highlight the situation of migrants coming to Europe. Credit: AP/Petr David Josek

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The rise of the Far Right in France… explained by cats. With English subtitles :)

Satellite 1A Asterix, first french satellite (1965), Museum of Air and Space Paris, Le Bourget (France)

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Astérix, the first French satellite, was launched on November 26, 1965 by a rocket of type Diamant A from Hammaguir in Algeria. It was originally designated A-1, as the French Army’s first satellite, but later renamed after the popular French cartoon character Astérix. With Astérix, Francebecame the sixth country to have an artificial satellite in orbit.

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Discours de De Gaulle au Québec, Canada, le 24 juillet 1967

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“Vive le Québec libre !” (“Long live free Quebec!”) was a controversial phrase in a speech delivered by French president Charles de Gaulle in Montreal on July 24, 1967.

De Gaulle was in Canada on an official visit under the pretext of attending Expo 67. While giving an address to a large crowd from a balcony at Montreal City Hall, he uttered “Vive Montreal; Vive le Québec !” (“Long live Montreal, Long live Quebec!”) and then added, almost drowned out by the crowd, “Vive le Québec libre !” (“Long live free Quebec!”). The phrase was seen as a slogan amongst Quebecers who favoured Quebec sovereignty, and de Gaulle’s use of it was seen as him lending his tacit support to the movement.

From left to right: French Generals André Zeller, Edmond Jouhaud, Raoul Salan and Maurice Challe during the coup (Gouvernement General building, Algiers, April 23, 1961)

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The Algiers putsch also known as the Generals’ putsch (Putsch des Généraux), was a failed coup d'état to overthrow French President Charles de Gaulle. Organised in French Algeria by retired French army generals Maurice Challe, Edmond Jouhaud, André Zeller, and Raoul Salan, it took place from the afternoon of 21 April to 26 April 1961 in the midst of the Algerian War (1954–1962).

The organisers of the putsch were opposed to the secret negotiations that French Prime Minister Michel Debré’s government had started with the anti-colonialist National Liberation Front (FLN).

The coup was to come in two phases: an assertion of control in French Algeria’s major cities Algiers, Oran and Constantine, followed by the seizure of Paris. The metropolitan operation would be led by Colonel Antoine Argoud, with French paratroopers descending on strategic airfields. The commanders in Oran and Constantine, however, refused to follow Challe’s demand that they join the coup.

On 22 April, all flights and landings were forbidden in Parisian airfields, and an order was given to the army to resist the coup “by all means”.The following day, President Charles De Gaulle made a famous speech on television, dressed with his 1940s-vintage general’s uniform (he was 71 and long retired from the army) ordering the French people and army to help him.

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Elections présidentielles du 21 avril 2002

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The 2002 French presidential election consisted of a first round election on 21 April 2002, and a runoff election between the top two candidates (Jacques Chirac and Jean-Marie Le Pen) on 5 May 2002. This presidential contest attracted a greater than usual amount of international attention because of Le Pen’s unexpected victory over Socialist candidate Lionel Jospin and subsequent appearance in the runoff election. Journalists and politicians then claimed that polls had failed to predict his second place finish in the general election, though Le Pen’s strong stance could be seen in the week prior to the election. This led to serious discussions about polling techniques and the climate of French politics. Although Le Pen’s political party National Front described itself as mainstream conservative, non-partisan observers largely agreed in defining it as a far right or ultra-nationalist party.

Chirac experienced the biggest landslide in a French presidential election (greater even than that of Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte in 1848, the first by direct ballot), winning over 82% of the vote.