Photograph dated March 18, 1871 of a barricade, rue d'Allemagne and rue Sébastopol, during the Paris Commune.


AFP Photo

  • From next March 18 and for 72 days, the Paris City Hall will organize nearly 50 events to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune.

  • A cultural event will notably take place on the first day of the revolt, March 18, in the square Louise-Michel (18th), in the presence of Anne Hidalgo.

  • The celebrations of this historical and political event, which is regularly debated, will be closely scrutinized by various elected Parisians.

They set the tone during the 2021 vows. “Everyone is looking for his way, we are looking for ours and we believe that the day when the reign of freedom and equality will have arrived, mankind will be happy.

»On January 13, this quote from Louise Michel, an emblematic figure of the Municipality, was proclaimed by Emmanuel Grégoire, Anne Hidalgo's first assistant.

And for good reason.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune.

A century and a half later, this popular revolt against the conservative power - born on the ruins of the defeat against the Prussians against a background of humiliation, to end up trampled in blood - still inspires and tears Paris.

From Montmartre - where some want to destroy the “Versailles wart”, the Sacré-Coeur - to the demonstrations, the Municipality is not dead.

His ideas continue to be written on flags, walls, in many books and to spread in certain pockets of autonomy, anarchists and libertarians.

But not only.

The Parisian political class is not left out.

A tag in Paris in December 2019. - CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT / AFP

The event continues to divide within the Council of Paris itself, this assembly created during the Commune.

So how will the town hall celebrate this historic and political anniversary?

The question is thorny.

The Paris Commune "has not ceased to arouse subsequent debates, issues of memory and rereading", warns the historical pavement of 1,500 pages.

The Paris Commune 1871: the actors, the event, the places

 coordinated by the academic Michel Cordillot , released by Atelier editions, at the end of January.

"Anne Hidalgo wished that we make an important celebration"

The town hall intends to take hold of these celebrations politically and not to do things by halves.

Under the leadership of Laurence Patrice (PCF), Anne Hidalgo's deputy in charge of memory and the fighting world, the Town Hall is already promising many events: exhibitions, conferences, plaque removal, planting of a tree.

And this, from March 18, date of the start of the revolt, until May 28 and its "bloody week", whose number of deaths oscillates "between 10,000 and 20,000", explains to 

20 Minutes

, Laure Godineau, historian of the Paris Commune and lecturer at Sorbonne Paris Nord.

“It is an important event in the history of our city.

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, wished that we make an important celebration.

Obviously, the Commune was marked by violent and bloody events, but above all it was a unique experience of social and political democracy.

We want to make this known and make it accessible to the younger generations ”, reacts Laurence Patrice.

Thus, on March 18, at Square Louise-Michel (18th arrondissement), the artist Dugudus will stage 50 figures of Communards who will be held by Parisians.

A project called “Nous la Commune”.

On this occasion, the mayor of Paris will plant an araucaria.

Then, for 72 days, nearly 50 cultural, memorial and festive events - readings of texts and songs - are planned by the town hall, in the town halls of the districts and municipal libraries.

These meetings will also be animated by associations, including that of Friends and Friends of the Municipality 1871. But these commemorations are not to the taste of all the elected officials of the capital.

A flag paying tribute to the Commune during a demonstration in Paris - AFP

"To commemorate is yes, to celebrate is no"

If the town hall was expecting some criticism coming in particular from the extreme left, the tackles mainly come for the time from the Parisian right.

At the forefront, Rudolph Granier and David Alphand (The Republicans and Independents).

“To commemorate is yes, to celebrate is no”, launches Rudolph Granier, councilor of Paris and elected representative of the 18th arrondissement.

“Let's not lose sight of the fact that there is a very political aspect behind all of this.

Anne Hidalgo uses the Paris Commune to consolidate her majority [communists, environmentalists and socialists], ”he explains to

20 Minutes.

And to clarify: “The Commune is part of the history of Paris, no one is in denial.

On the other hand, we are faced with a political twist of history.

It is self-celebration to end with self-satisfaction for Anne Hidalgo who needs it, in her presidential trajectory.


On the left, we also necessarily watch for the event and we deplore some shortcomings.

“I had insisted at the Council of Paris to have plaques placed in homage to Communard women.

Let us not forget that the insurrection of the Commune was started by women.

They were the ones who climbed the Butte Montmartre to protect the guns.

And 150 years later, we are still going to file plates for men, ”laments to

20 Minutes

, Danielle Simonnet, Paris LFI advisor.

The Municipality of 1871 - MARY EVANS / SIPA

Laurence Patrice denies it.

"A lot of communard women will be honored," defends the deputy who says she wants to make this theme a major point of the commemorations.

In addition to an exhibition dedicated to the women of the Commune, an Anna-Jaclard street (member of the Citizen Vigilance Committee of the 18th arrondissement and the Union des Femmes) will be inaugurated in the 12th arrondissement.

In the 20th arrondissement, a garden will be named Paule Mink, socialist journalist, feminist and communard speaker.

A Marcel and Cécile Cerf plaque - he historian of the Commune, she resistance during the Second World War - will be affixed in a street of the 14th arrondissement.

Finally, on April 2, in the Council chamber of Paris, an evocation of the trial of Louise Michel will also be organized.

On March 18, 1871, this teacher from Montmartre, took a rifle, determined to fight to protect the guns of the Butte.

And declared: “We thought we were dying for freedom.

We were like being lifted off the ground.

»On December 16, 1871, during her trial, the feminist activist and fighter of the Commune, who will be nicknamed the" Red Virgin ", will be condemned to prison in New Caledonia, where a tree grows, the aurocaria.


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  • Anne Hidalgo

  • History

  • Commemoration

  • Paris