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Interview with Hélène Bleskine

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posted on 11.03.2021, 09:45 by Robert GildeaRobert Gildea
Bleskine, Hélène.
Radical theatre / Comités Vietnam de base/ Comités d’Action/ Gargenville/Flins

Family
Born 26 August 1946, Argenteuil. Father an engineer from St Petersburg, left USSR in the 1920s married a Norman woman 1940 and naturalised after 1945. ‘Myth of the Bolshevik Revolution’ haunted Hélène.

Education
Lycée of Nancy, up to baccalauréat. Involved in Théâtre universitaire at Nancy with Jacques Lang c. 1965. This set up the Festival international du Théâtre, brought in radical American companies like Bread and Puppet, Campesino. Involved in Université Internationale du Théâtre des Nations, Châtelet.

Political Apprenticeship
Her brothers were in French Communist Party and opposed to the Algerian war. Her own activist apprenticeship was really through theatre, but also through Comités Vietnam de base, in both Nancy and Paris.

1968
Organised lycéen drama group at Clamart and in Comité d’Action of 14e arrondissement. Lived in an activist commune at Gargenville, which set up a base ouvrière at the car factory of Flins, supposed to be a focus for the continuing workers’ movement, 1970, and produced a play there.

Post 1968
Became a novelist and kept faith with the libertarian vein of 1968.

Publications
L’Espoir gravé (1975). ‘Mai 68. Quelques pas tout autour’ (podcasts, 2018) https://www.franceculture.fr/emissions/fictions-le-feuilleton/mai-68-quelques-pas-tout-autour-par-helene-bleskine

Funding

Around 1968: Activism, Networks, Trajectories

Arts and Humanities Research Council

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History

Date of interview

02/05/2007

Place of interview

Paris

Name of activist

Hélène Bleskine

Activist date of birth

26/08/1946

Activist Gender

Female

Activist nationality

French

Name of interviewer

Robert Gildea

Name of transcriber

Nora Khayi

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