Guy Debord et l'Internationale Situationniste

Mon 01 May 2017 | -- (permalink)

About Deauville Beach, France

France is a historic country renowned for fashion and food. Located near the city of Paris (where Guy Debord was born) is Deauville –a picturesque beach side in Côte Fleurie in Lower Normandy region in France. This ancient spectacle is hailed as the “Queen of the Norman beaches” due to its beauty and grandeur. It is lined by lavish hotels and grand casinos that accessorize the shoreline, which is why tourists have been enjoying the place since the 1800s.

I planned an exquisite trip to France to treat myself and I had the most spectacular mini vacation. I had the chance to visit the magnificent Deauville –a seemingly surreal paradise. I scoured the internet for images and details about the place, then I realized how much I would love to visit. I had bought a foldable kayak after reading about it at inflatable kayak reviews to take with me. I quickly packed my travel bag, booked a plane ticket and for the next few days I was in wonderland , lost in the wonders of a new adventure.

As I landed, I ravished in the breathtaking scenes that I couldn't wait to take photos of...the tireless sea, the glamorous buildings and the relaxing shoreline. I dashed here and there and in my very limited French vocabulary, I summoned up the courage to greet the locals "Bon jour" and some of them were nice enough to teach me more words that were incredibly difficult to pronounce!

As I strolled the beach to breathe in the fresh sea breeze, I was astounded as I saw the great and ageless Les Planches boardwalk  in the background. Oh the wonder of a serene and exquisite breakfast by the beachside, which gave me a peace I have not known in years. There were countless lavish and lovely boutiques I wish I had had the time to discover, but at least I was able to buy a parfumé and an écharpe. I went kayaking with my Oru Bay kayak in the sea in the heat of the sun and would have surfed too but I couldn’t. I sunbathed for hours and was fascinated by the magnitude of celebrities and stars I saw down the beach.

I watched the spectacular sunset in amusement, which is a memory that will remain engraved in my mind for a long time. The place was wrapped in blanket of momentary peace, then night came and it was reawakened and it was time to visit the Casino Barrière. I loved the energy of the place as I tried the slot machines and played cards. There were so many activities I could do in one night and I couldn’t choose which booth to go to. I had so much fun that I wanted to stay up and explore more, but a weary traveler must rest too. As I laid on my bed on my first night, I listened to the rhythmic hum of the sea waves and slept like I have never slept in years. This place was a haven for me and  I will miss the class and serenity and will definitely come back to create new memories!


Sat 25 February 2017 | -- (permalink)

France is famous for its beaches, so we’ve put together a list of the seven most enchanting beaches in France. These beaches will never disappoint and you are guaranteed to have a great time, whether it's sunbathing, dining out, or swimming in the ocean.

 
1. Palombaggia Beach, Porto Vecchio, Corsica

 

Location/Features

Palombaggia Beach is a 15 minute drive south of Porto-Vecchi and is surrounded by mountains and pine trees. This two kilometers long stretch of beach is classified by UNESCO as one of the best beaches in the world. Rich in color, the beach is enclosed by two pink granite headlands with soft white sands and shallow crystal clear water. It would be perfect place for some inflatable kayaks, if you have them.

Facilities

Adding to the enchantment are the straw huts on the beach that sell beach toys or operate as restaurants and bars. The southern end of the beach is perfect for snorkeling with some rocky areas and a small reef. In the summer, there is a lifeguard on duty and a range of water sports are available. Popular with the French and tourists alike, expect crowds in the summer. Arrive early in the day, or head to the less crowded southern end of the beach.

 
2. Plage des Marinières, Villefranche-sur-Mer


Location/Features

You can’t compile a list of French beaches without including a beach from the Riviera that is far enough away not to be overcrowded. It’s also one of the few beaches along this coast that is not private, so don’t have to pay an entry fee. With the backdrops of the old town of Villefranche-sur-Mer and steep cliffs, this beach is very picturesque. The turquoise water is clear, and there are small reefs not far from shore for snorkeling. This beach is frequented as it has sand rather than pebbles.

 
3. Paloma Beach, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat


Location/Features

Just east of Nice, this small, private, pebbled beach is named for Paloma Picasso and is reached by climbing down a steep set of steps. The pristine blue water and views of the surrounding mountains make the climb worthwhile.

Facilities

The beach has a restaurant and bar as well as a sun lounge and fitness center. There is also valet parking and an extensive range of water sports is available, from jet skiing to scuba diving.

 
4. Etretat Beach, Calvados


Location/Features

Located in Normandy, this beach has provided inspiration to many famous writers and artists. Fishermen’s boats dot the pebbled beach and sheer white limestone cliff faces dominate the skyline, creating a breathtaking view. You would fit right in on an Oru Bay Plus Kayak, talking with the locals. At either end of the one kilometer beach, the water has eroded a natural arch into the limestone cliffs that jut into the water.

Facilities

A lifeguard is on duty during summer months. A promenade runs the length of the beach, and there are restaurants, bars and lots of available parking for beachgoers.


 

5. Gruissan, Narbonne


Location/Features

A 20-minute drive from Narbonne, this beach lies on the Grazel Lagoon. In the past, the village purchased land on the beach to erect a beach hut built on stilts for locals to use. Now holidaymakers can rent out these huts that have basic electricity and running water. A wide sandy beach is dotted with palm trees and the waters are home to pink flamencos.

Facilities

There are many nearby restaurants and bars. Some water sports are available in the summer season.

 
6. Plage de St. Vincent, Collioure


Location/Features

This beach is just a few miles from the Spanish border in the Pyrenees, and foundations for the 17th-century Chateau Royal are located on the beach. Brightly colored fishing boats dot the water and pastel buildings line the street behind the beach, making it hard to take a bad photo here. Looking out from the beach you can see the picturesque Bay of Collioure. The beach is a mixture of fine sand and pebbles, but there are larger stones in the water, so footwear is advised.

Facilities

St. Vincent is a small beach with limited parking. There is a lifeguard on duty during the summer. Sun lounges are available, and there is a range of water sports available.

 
7. Plage de l’Ecluse, Dinard


Location/Features

Located in Brittany, this is the main beach in Dinard, and features sweeping white sands with high cliffs that mansions built in the 19th century cling to. Tides go out quite far, leaving natural rock pools that you could investigate in a kayak, which you can read about here.

Facilities

An Olympic sized salt water swimming pool is located on the beach. There is also a first aid station, many restaurants and bars and a kid’s club.


Thu 02 February 2017 | -- (permalink)


Wed 01 February 2017 | -- (permalink)

I am not sure what I just watched but, sometimes, that's exactly what we need, right?  Enjoy this contemporary piece on the Society of the Spectacle Pt 1:


Thu 26 January 2017 | -- (permalink)

I found a video recently with decent English subtitles to learn more about Guy Debord.  If you want to learn about him, sit back, turn up the speakers, and hit play to check it out:


Sun 25 December 2016 | tags: life of guy debord, understanding guy debord, -- (permalink)

Guy Debord was a filmmaker, writer, member of Letterist International and author of The Society of The Spectacle. He was a French Marxist theorist who helped found Situationist International in 1957. He was born in Paris, France on December 28, 1931 to Martial Debord, a pharmacist, and Paulette Rossi. His father died when he was a child, so his mother sent him to live with her family in Italy.

Guy attended high school in Cannes, and subsequently, his interest in film was born. He also studied Law at the University of Paris, but he dropped out and began his career as a writer. He had two wives in his lifetime; the first was Michèle Bernstein and the second, Alice Becker-Ho. He also participated in a number of extra-marital affairs. Debord committed suicide on November 30, 1994, at the age of 62, putting an end to what was an eventful, revolutionary life.

 

Why is Guy Debord Important?


Arguably, Debord’s most important contribution was his novel, The Society of The Spectacle. In the novel, he advances 221 short theses relating to issues such as the degradation of human life, mass media, common fetishism, and the comparison between religion and marketing. He suggested that we humans have allowed ourselves to become colonized by the spectacle (which is, in essence, mass media) in order to combat the alienation that results from capitalism. Consequently, the spectacle replaces social interactions, pushes us into social isolation and hinders critical reasoning, thus degrading human life. He compared the present-day role of mass media to the past role of religion. Mass media elicits feelings and reactions in us similar to those customary of old religious fetishism.

Guy was an advocate for the use of détournement, a technique developed by Letterist International that turns expressions of the capitalist system and media culture against itself. This later sparked the Culture Jamming movement in the late 1980s.
Debord’s impact still lives on today. His film work is studied by modern filmmakers, and his ideas are influential in modern day critiquing of capitalism.

He was a member of Letterist International, which he joined at age 19, and eventually he became the leader of a Letterist faction after a schism led to the end of Isidore Isou’s dictatorial leadership.

Debord was also important because of his contribution to Situationist International.
 

Guy Debord and the Situationist International


In 1957, the Situationist International was founded. Debord, being the lead representative from Letterist International, along with representatives from the International Movement for an Imaginist Bauhaus and the London Psychogeographical Association came together to found it.
 

Situationism, in itself, is a psychological theory which states that human behavior is determined by surrounding circumstances rather than by personal circumstances.The Situationist International, however, rejects the use of the term situationism;’ Debord even referred to it as “meaningless.”

Situationists believe in the creation of situations which serve to liberate man from the alienation caused by capitalism and the spectacle. They adopted and expanded on Marx’s theory of capitalism, placing particular emphasis on the social dysfunction brought about by advanced capitalism. In addition to Marxism, Situationist International was inspired and influenced by avant-garde art such as Dada and Surrealism. They advocated four main concepts: dérive, détournement, psychogeography and unitary urbanism, as outlined in their journal International Situationniste.

The organization was made up primarily of avant-garde artists, political theorists, and intellectuals. In its early stages, its main objective was to critique art, but later, the focus gradually shifted to more political and revolutionary theories. In 1958, the situationists organized a raid against an international art conference in Belgium, leading to the detention of-of some situationists.

The situationists’ theory of the spectacle and Debord’s novel, The Society of The Spectacle heavily influenced the 1968 revolts in Paris, France. Quotes from his novel could be found on Parisian walls and walls in other cities, attesting to the fact that the situationist ideologies were well-known and widespread.

In 1972, Situationist International was dissolved and thereafter, Debord began to focus more on filmmaking and writing. Gérard Lebovici patronized him until his murder, which in fact people (perhaps wrongly) accused Debord of, much to his distress.

Debord was an alcoholic and that caused him to develop polyneuritis, which seemed to have prompted his suicide in 1994. Debord’s radical ideas and theories were important and revolutionary, and both his life and death sparked much controversy.