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Day of Provocation
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day of provocation
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11: the exhibition
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historical references
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historical references

The frame of "a day of provocation" is taken from "les évènements de mai", the events of May 1968 in France, when students and workers rebelled against the establishment and spent days and nights in intense, provocative, boundary-shaking discussion in the lecture halls of the Sorbonne, of Nanterre, and of the L'École des Beaux-Arts, and in the occupied Théâtre de L'Odéon, the Renault factory at Billancourt, and other educational institutions and workplaces around the city and throughout the country. But we imagine too that other significant historical frames might be that this day is the 87th anniversary of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the moment when the guns fell silent, when "the war to end all wars" ground to a halt - and that this day too is the 30th anniversary of the Dismissal, a seminal moment in Australian cultural history, impacting on all of us in the university community still, as we struggle with the meanings of economic rationalism and its consequences for the intellectual life.

related links

Below, we have included a number of links to other web sites that deal with historical issues of particular relevance to our day of provocation. We will continue to update this page and add other links as the conference date draws nearer.

Paris, May 1968

Guy Debord and the Situationists

Whitlam Dismissal

Armistice/Remembrance Day

Edward Kelly Hanged

Thanks to Peter Harries (PhD student in Australian history) for reminding us that 11 November is also the day (in 1880) that Ned Kelly was hanged for murder. For more on Ned Kelly see:

The Ballarat Reform League

At a meeting held on Bakery Hill, in the presence of about ten thousand men, on Saturday, November 11th, 1854, the Ballarat Reform League Charter was adopted (with thanks to John Ireland, Melbourne).

Other cultural/historical resonances for 11 November would also be welcomed!


     Power to the People - Artist: Jacqueline Jong, 1968

Power to the People 
Artist: Jacqueline Jong, 1968 
Victoria University Library, Toronto, Canada