Matin d’un Blues – Poster (n.d.)

There is frustratingly little about the struggles among the French autonomous left during the 1970s and 1980s that is written or translated into English. A useful, if brief, reflection can be found in an interview published in Jacques Lesage de La Haye’s small book, The Abolition of Prison (AK Press, 2021, pp. 103-116), as well as Leopold Roc’s discussion of Os Cangaceiros, published in the eighth issue of the anarchist journal Rolling Thunder (2009, here and here). Matin d’un Blues was one of the many interesting publishing efforts that autonomous organizers put together during those years, and ran for three issues, from 1978-1979. Most of the contents of the journals can be found online, via the Fragments d’Histoire de gauche radicale archive, here.

Our copy of issue #2

Sebastien Schifres has written a chapter on the group and posted it to his website, here. According to Schifres, the group was founded by former members of Camarades, most notably Bob Nadoulek, as well as participants in Marge, and was inspired by Italy’s Metropolitan Indians. The emphasis in Matin d’un Blues on ‘desiring autonomy’ (“autonomie désirante”) and cultural interventions, rather than the more strictly class struggle focus of Camarades. There is a strong situationist influence in both aesthetics and various written pieces in issues of the journal. Commentary found in the 1979 piece by Bob Nadoulek in Le Monde, entitled “La politique et le quotidien” (roughly, ‘politics and everyday life’) is also worth reading for a brief introduction to the group’s perspectives (here).

Issues of Matin d’un Blues are scarce and we locate only four archives holding copies internationally (here and here), all in Europe. We have only issue #2 in our holdings.

This striking poster uses the image on the cover of issue #2, though we have been unable to figure out if the poster was used to advertise for the specific issue or for the publication more generally. (We purchased our copy from someone who ran a bookshop in Paris in the 1970s, but did not recall any background of the poster). The smaller text along the top reads “autonomie offensive et creativitie” (roughly ‘offensive autonomy and creativity’) followed by “mais quand il ne reste que le choix des armes le desespoir n’a pas besoin de caution politique” along the bottom (roughly, ‘but when only the choice of weapons remains, despair does not need a political guarantee’).

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