The 1960s were characterized by a global atmosphere of conflict, protest, and turmoil as youthful counterculture clashed with parental authority, government, and the very idea of societal conformity. This rebellious tendency was manifest in the students and youth of Paris as strongly as anywhere.
On the 10th of May in 1968, tensions between the students and police reached critical mass as the police barricaded the entire student district of Paris. The students retaliated by overturning cars and tearing apart the very cobblestones of the street to throw at police. Underneath these stones they found the sandy foundation of Roman roads and infrastructure. This sand —or so called beach— is what inspired the tag and slogan, “Sous les pavés, la plage.” Translating into english as; beneath the cobblestones, the beach. This slogan encapsulates the revolutionary atmosphere and violence of Paris in the late 60’s.
An atmosphere which was found in cities across the world from Paris, to New York, to Sao Paulo as the youth took to the streets in attempt to seek expression, equality and freedom from authority.
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