Some Rather Predictable Refusals

SI quote on an "inspirational quotes" template

The SI's recent hostile interactions with various journals, conferences and booksellers. From Internationale Situationniste #11 (October 1967)

Submitted by Fozzie on April 4, 2023

We wish to draw attention to some of our refusals to invitations from those who think they need to offer us a place in this or that despicable little niche of the very system we have consistently denounced. This information, of course, is not interesting for the refusals themselves — which shouldn't surprise anyone — but for the moronic indecency that a number of these offers clearly exhibit.

In June 1966, the situationists refused an offer from the journal Aletheia, open to all sorts of Stalinists and peppered with Heideggerianism, to participate in a special issue purporting to deal with "militantism"! In August of the same year, we declined an invitation to take part in the "Destruction of Art Symposium" planned for London in September, observing that "art is already destroyed and has been for a very long time... Nowadays, organizing the common spectacle of the debris and copies of the debris — Enrico Baj, for example — is not to destroy it but to pick up the pieces and try to stick them back together, that is, to be the academic art of the era of art's completion." In January, after an order for the situationist brochure from Strasbourg was placed by Maspéro — the famous bookseller of a bureaucracy on the road to liberalization — where a member of the public had the poor judgment to go looking for it, we wrote to its proprieter: "You Stalinist prick, it's no accident that you don't have our brochure. We despise you." In March, it was necessary to respond to the Center for Socialist Students, who had asked a member of the SI to become caught up in one of its debates on "concentration camp cities and socialist urbanism," that "we find those who are speaking in it, and those who are listening to them, completely uninteresting."

The prize, however, goes to Kostas Axelos (see above1 ), who wrote to us on 27 February as editor of the Editions Minuit collection of Arguments, proposing that we "send a copy of Vaneigem's Traité" for him to read. Our response was short but offensive.

I love my camera because I love life... I record the best moments of existence... I relive them whenever I like, in all their splendor.


This advertisement for Eumig cameras (summer 1967) evokes with great accuracy the glaciation of individual life inverted in the spectacular perspective: the present surrenders to being immediately lived as memory. Through this spacialization of time, which submits to the illusory order of a permanently accessible present, time and life are lost together.

Translated by Reuben Keehan. From