Monday, November 28, 2005

The cobblestones lie under the concrete!

Many interesting/funny slogans were created by the students during the mini revolution that took place in May 1968. One of them, that everybody still has in mind was "The beach lies under the cobblestones!" And very recently I came across this one painted directly on the sidewalk and widely inspired from the original one: "The cobblestones lie under the concrete!" meaning probably that since the 60's a second layer has been added and that the revolution is going to take even longer!


  1. Yes Eric, the Revolution is under way ! I like very much this evolution of yours !

  2. LOL!
    May 68 is definitly dead!!!

  3. Very cool and insightful. But what does the original "The beach lies under the cobblestones" mean?

  4. Students back in may '68 used to remove cobblestones from street pavement to throw on policemen and build barrages. "Sous les pavés, la plage" was one of the many graffitis written on walls, but maybe the most representative of '68 events in France.
    So it means liberty is just beneath your feet ;)

  5. Back then, restless students were digging the streets looking for a newer better social order...
    They used to throw the cobblestones to the police forces!
    Those were the days...

  6. To Michael:
    I was (almost) 17 in May, 1968.
    Even though I did not get too much involved in the events that took place at that time (mainly in Paris where I did not live), here is my understanding of "Sous les pavés, la plage":
    The beach means space and freedom. The coblestones (and concrete too) are a symbol of the urban life with all its frustrations.
    The coblestones used to (and I guess they still do) rest on a bed of sand. So if you pick up the coblestones (and throw them at the police force that represent the establishment/government), you end up on something that looks like a beach covered with sand. And, consequently, you feel more liberated and free.
    There is one remaining question: where is the ocean in that story? -- my answer is: I don't know.
    I am sure that there are many explanations that could be given to that expression. Mine is probably the simplest and most straightforward.
    Even though I don't find it really convincing...
    What is remaining of "mai 68"? Not much, really.

  7. Oh Eric, forgot to mention the color of your picture are really beautiful!

    >Fix79. I'm pretty convinced there is actually a lot of '68 remaining these days. Women ('s rights) could tell more than I would!
    Now it's clear that the spirit of those days has gone...

  8. Remeber : It is forbidden to forbid ! Il est interdit d'interdire.

  9. I remember my first vist to Paris, over 25 years ago, and the noise of the cobbles in the Boulevards. I particularly remember turning my head at 07:00 on a bright summer morning to the distinctive noise of a Fiat 127 Abarth (bit like a 60's mini cooper, but with ray-ban's) being driven with verve and gusto by a chic ......granny. That spelled Paris to me.

  10. Votre blog est vraiment extra!
    Je vis à Bristol, qui est une ville superbe et aussi très photogénique...
    Je dois dire que l'idée de prendre une photo par jour, ici à Bristol, me plait beaucoup!!!
    Je vais donc m'y atteler...
    Merci pour l'inspiration!

  11. The original is one of my favourite slogans and to find version 2 is just wonderful!

  12. Nice one!
    But I think the revolution spirit should be found on the concrete and not under it...

  13. an interesting note: in the catacombs of paris, there is a famous mural called "la plage". so there really is a beach under the cobblestones...

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