It’s Week 9, the penultimate week of LA COMMUNE 2021, a virtual free school experience hosted by Roxanne Panchasi (a.k.a. RP) in collaboration with UNIT/PITT Society for Art and Critical Awareness. If you’re just joining us this week, you might want to take a look at the content from the previous four weeks to help get you situated. You can also dip into and out of the content as you like, in whatever order appeals to you. Free really means free!
The Paris Commune erupted in the spring of 1871 following more than a century of political, social, and economic transformation in France. After months of war and siege, the French capital’s working-class population rose up in March, holding elections, and forming their own government. The revolutionaries of the Commune attempted a complete overhaul of all aspects of life in the city. Instituting political and economic reforms, they also pursued a program of universal public education, the separation of church and state, and the promotion of a radical culture.
COMMUNE STANDARD TIME
Our free school TIMELINE includes a number of key events that may help to situate events chronologically and within the broader history of nineteenth-century France. We’ll be adding dates to the timeline each week, following events from March through May as we go.
Each week of LA COMMUNE 2021 is anchored around an episode of radio 1871, an audio series created for a seminar in History at Simon Fraser University in 2021 with subsequent release via this free school in mind.
RP’s guest this week is Mike Gouldhawke, a Métis and Cree writer and community organizer whose family is from Kistapinanihk (City of Prince Albert) and nêwo-nâkîwin (Mont Nebo) in Treaty 6 territory in Saskatchewan. His writing has appeared in magazines such as Redwire and Briarpatch. He is based out of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Səl̓ílwətaʔ, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, and Sel̓íl̓witulh territories (known as “Vancouver, British Columbia) and has been part of Indigenous and anti-poverty movements in the city.
Mike and I spoke about the Commune and colonialism, moving from Paris to the exile of Communards like Louise Michel in “New Caledonia,” to the Red River Resistance of 1869-70 in what would eventually become a part of “Canada.”
If you are on Twitter, check out and follow @M_Gouldhawke here :
Alban Bargain-Villéger. “The Scarecrow on the Other Side of the Pond: The Paris Commune of 1871 in the Canadian Press.” Labour/Le Travail, Vol 74 (2014)
Louise Michel, The Red Virgin: Memoirs of Louise Michel, translated by Bullitt Lowry and Elizabeth Ellington Gunter, University of Alabama Press, 1981 (sign up for a free Internet Archive account to access the full text)
Carolyn J. Eichner. “Civilization vs Solidarity: Louise Michel and the Kanaks.” Salvage (May 22, 2017)
Paul Mason. “Tracing Louise Michel in the Pacific: Researching the Women Communards on New Caledonia.” How to Stop Facism (Feb 15, 2017)
Prosper-Olivier Lissagaray. Ch 36, “The Balance-Sheet of Bourgeois Vengeance.” (1876) Marxists.org
International Institute of Social History. “Deportation to New Caledonia.”
Alice Bullard. “Self-Representation in the Arms of Defeat: Fatal Nostalgia and Surviving Comrades in French New Caledonia, 1871-1880.” Cultural Anthropology 12, 2 (May, 1997)
Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada. “Red River Resistance.” Canadian Geographic
HAPPENINGS & HEADS-UPs
Don’t forget to check out the HAPPENINGS & HEADS-UPs section! The section also includes information about other Paris Commune-related & Commune-spirited events taking place in various sites during the period of the free school.
UPCOMING LA COMMUNE 2021 EVENTS:
EN GRÈVE!: 1970s French Labour Activisms on Screen
Thursday, May 20 18:00 PDT / 21:00 EDT
Zoom // Free
Join UNIT/PITT and VIVO Media Arts Centre for a conversation focused on labour activisms in France in the ‘70s, one century after the Paris Commune of 1871. Special guests Nathan Crompton (Simon Fraser University), Karen Knights (VIVO Media Arts Centre), and Donald Reid (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill) will engage in a discussion anchored around a set of videos from the era housed in the Crista Dahl Media Library and Archive at VIVO Media Arts Centre.
Visit the event page above for the full details!
SAVE THE DATE! May 29th, 2021
LA COMMUNE 2021 BOOK CLUB PRESENTS: A discussion of Jodi Dean’s COMRADE (Verso Books, 2019) with special guests: Hilda Fernandez, Mike Gouldhawke, Steffanie Ling & Gustavus Stadler
Saturday, May 29th 14:00 PDT / 17:00 EDT
Zoom // Free
Registration details coming soon. In the meantime, get reading! If you are not able to access the book, there are some free resources you can turn to online instead:
Jodi Dean, “Four Theses on the Comrade,” in e-flux (November 2017)
Jodi Dean, “We need Comrades,” in Jacobin, November 18, 2019.
The video “COMRADE: A discussion with Jodi Dean” at The People’s Forum NYC, February 13, 2020.