On the Poverty of Student Life

1960s: Days of Rage

On the Poverty of Student Life: A Consideration of Its Economic, Political, Sexual, Psychological and Notably Intellectual Aspects and of a Few Ways to Cure it … is a pamphlet first published by students of the University of Strasbourg and the Situationist International (SI) in 1966. Attacking the subservience of university students and the strategies of student radicals, it caused significant uproar, led to the dissemination of Situationist ideas, and precipitated the events of May 1968 in France. Taking advantage of the apathy of their colleagues, five ‘Pro-situs’, Situationist-influenced students had been elected to the University of Strasbourg’s students’ union in November 1966 and began scandalising the authorities. Their first action was to form an ‘anarchist appreciation society’ called The Society for the Rehabilitation for Karl Marx and Ravachol; next they appropriated union funds to flypost ‘Return of the Durruti Column’, André Bertrand’s détourned comic strip. They then…

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