Anarchy Magazine 76: How Many Years To 1984 (Vol 7 No 6)
Edited by Colin Ward
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London: Freedom Press, 1967. 8vo (21x14cm), staple-bound with illustrated paper wrappers. 161-193pp. Text in English. Slight rubbing to spine, else fine.
Anarchy Magazine was an influential anarchist monthly magazine edited by Colin Ward and published by the legendary Freedom Press publishing house, between March 1961 and December 1970. The magazine was designed and illustrated by Rufus Seger, an anarchist graphic designer, whose experimental cover design helped the magazine to its prominence.
Anarchy 76 – How many years to 1984 contains an interview conducted by Chris Marker (thanks to a typo in the title, Chris Marker became Chris Marler), at the Rhodiaceta factory at Besançon, where he spoke to striking factory workers in March 1967. Rhodiaceta was one of the two textile corporations owned by Rhone-Poulenc and managed by the former governor of the Bank of France, Wilfrid Baumgartner. It was the first strike and factory occupation in France since 1936, and can be seen as the prelude to May 1968. Chris Marker introduces his interviews as follows:
“On 9th March, I went to the Rhodiaceta factory at Besancon armed with a tape-recorder. It had been on strike since 25th February and had been occupied by the workers. They spoke to me for three hours, quite frankly and openly raising and debating amongst themselves all their problems whether immediate or not. The conversations below are extracts from these tapes.”
The event was also captured by Chris Marker in his film A bientôt j’espère, which he did together with Mario Marret under the patronage of SLON. When the film was shown to the workers, they were partly critical of it, because important aspects of their every day experience were missing in the film. In response, Marker and other SLON filmmakers founded the Groupe Medvedkine, which trained workers to produce their own films collaboratively. The group was named after the Russian filmmaker to whom Chris Marker paid tribute in his films Le Train en Marche [The Train Rolls On] from 1971, and Le Tombeau d’Alexandre [The Last Bolshevik] from 1992.
This issue of Anarchy Magazine is the only known printed record of the interview documenting one of the starting points of the ’68 movement. Other topics feature Paul Goodmans’ The melancholy scenario; Police cameras and commandos by John O’Connor; How many years to 1984? by R. Smilde; The noble experiment by Jack Robinson; Rose- coloured spectacles by Tony Gibson; and Anarchism and the needs of men by Alan