“Indésirables” is a way of being, a style of thinking, rather than a way of dressing. Through our leaders we carry around the right / duty to think for ourselves and to evaluate with our own taste. Because feeling free to express one’s ideas is priceless, even at the cost of making a mistake.
We are inspired by the student revolution that broke out in May 1968 in Paris, which amplifies and widens the first anti-Vietnam movements born in Barkley, California. We rework the posters designed by the Atelier Populaire (Popular Workshop) artists, as it was renamed the School of Fine Arts in Paris during the hottest period.
Slogans and posters that have covered the walls of the French capital and which still retain today an actuality that does not leave indifferent. Even the expressive style, which the passage of time has not scratched but rather cloaked with new suggestions, still arouses, and (perhaps) today, profound reflections.

Indésirables wants to be a distinctive mark dedicated to those who do not fear to stand up for each individual’s individuality and freedom. Fuor from every nostalgic and political backlash, we believe that ’68 has started on very topical issues even today, such as consumerism, participation, social justice, freedom, integration, environmental protection.

A univocal message against the tendency (already stigmatized by the philosopher Nerbert Marcuse) to impose a “one-dimensional man” that flattens the human being to the dimension of a mere consumer, free only in the possibility of choosing between different “products”.

Immediately we hit the name indésirables, taken from the famous poster “nous sommes tous indésirables”. Contrary to what is defined by the dictionary, for us the “undesirables” (not by chance between quotation marks) are the common people who with courage and conviction carry forward their ideas and their values ​​in spite of the convenience of the moment, of “common feeling”, of demagogy catches consensus. They do not count the “likes” and do not fear to put themselves on the other side of the barricade, to feel out of the chorus and make irony, provocation and commitment a style of life.

Atelier Populaire: irony and provocation anticipating street art

About two hundred students of the école des beaux-arts, in rue Bonaparte, in Paris, in April 1968 occupied for more than forty days (and forty nights) the school’s laboratories, creating more than 350 different drawings and almost one hundred and twenty thousand posters printed in silkscreen all strictly anonymous.

The Atelier Populaire’s posters are characterized by the use of black or red monochrome and a seemingly poor and direct stylistic style, capable of translating the students’ ideological positions into actions. Few typographic characters are combined with sophisticated designs and hand lettering. They represented an absolute novelty for the time also due to the absence of academic planning. The messages – direct, ironic, provocative – expressed the need and urgency of a better, free and democratic society.

As well as the posters, even the slogans written on the walls of Paris in May 1968 were able to express problems, requests and needs, many of which, even today, after fifty years, are present in contemporary society. Unfortunately, many of the anxieties denounced in the works of the Parisian students have become in the following decades an even more stubborn reality than he could have imagined in French May.

He observes effectively Bruno Stucchi in the introduction of his book The posters of the French May: “Well more than just posters then, but rather real post or tweet, we would say with millennial terms,” ​​should be seen especially by them: “both from those who are able to lift the head that grazes on the screen of their device to get sublime ideas to make a better world – that will recognize – but above all from those who never raise it, and whose imagination is more often in the power of others”.

The link with current events is precisely this, the way to conceive a better society, to understand power, the school, the excluded (including immigrants), life.