# HISTORY /// Paris’ 1871 Commune recounted by RaspouTeam


Almost exactly 140 years ago, in March 1871, Paris was declaring its independence from defeated Napoleon III’s France and creating, for three months, what Karl Marx called the only real socialist society of history.
I already evoked this historical event through the writings of Blanqui (see the essay Processes of smoothing and striation of space in urban warfare) and the book written by Kristin Kross about Rimbaud and La Commune and soon enough I hope to be able to do it again thanks to Peter Watkins‘ movie. However, here I want to evoke the operation organized by RaspouTeam to celebrate this anniversary of Paris’ Commune. This group of French  street artist activists mixes low and high tech in order to link spaces of Paris to their historicity related to La Commune. They chose forty five chapters of those three months of insurrection and for each space concerned by this event, stick up historical photographs like windows of time connecting nowadays Paris with its glorious socialist past. To each of this spaces, they add a QR-Code allowing owners of smart-phone to learn about the events that occurred 140 years earlier at the very place (s)he is standing on.

This historical reminder is certainly not defined for a strict educational purpose. By promoting the memory of a true democratic society, RaspouTeam wants to compare it to the current French (European) situation that mixes a xenophobic ideology with a political-economical system that oppress humans in their daily lives using fear and securitarian effects as a mortar to keep the building standing. In that matter, RaspouTeam already released a similar operation than the one dedicated to La Commune. Entitled Désordres Publics (Public Disorders/Trouble), it establishes a map of Paris where a series of trouble events that occurred in Paris since the end of the 19th century.

La Commune’s website is unfortunately only in French, which denies a little bit the International aspiration of La Commune but it counts a lot of etchings, photographs and maps that would allow a non French speaker to familiarize with those three months, eventually repressed in a massacre ordered by Adolphe Thiers. I invite all to follow their website in the coming month as each chapter is released exactly 140 years later
In order to facilitate this exploration, I attempted to translate the name of each article that has been already published so far:

Paris Siege – Sept 1870
The National Guard – Feb 24th 1871
Black Flags – March 1st
The Central Comity – March 10th
The Press is being Censored – March 11st
The Take of Canons – March 18th
Friends of Order – March 22nd
The International Association of Workers – March 23rd
Proclamation of La Commune – March 28th
The End of the “Concordat” – April 2nd
The Battle of Courbevoie – April 3rd
We burned the Guillotine – April 6th
The Battle of Asnieres – April 9th
–  Women’s Union – April 11st
Artists’ Federation – April 13rd
Workshops’ Decree – April 16th
Foreigners and La Commune – April 18th
Provincial Communes – April 19th
A Secular and Free School – April 22nd
The Former Prefecture of Police – April 23rd
Freemasons’ March – April 29th
The Public Salvation Comity – May 1st
Bank of France – May 3rd
Versailles’ Press is Forbidden – May 5th

Their podcasts are also very informative…