Free press and fanzines: the alternative press in France, from the 1960s to the present day
A real mass phenomenon, with its own codes, distribution networks and events on the fringes of mainstream culture, the alternative press remains little known in France.
Appearing by the hundreds in the wake of May ’68 and the British and American counterculture, independent newspapers and sheets offer a young public the subjects that the “serious” press dismisses – pop and rock music, ecology, nuclear power, regionalist movements, sexuality, street entertainment, feminism, pacifism -, treated in an iconoclastic and radical tone. Charlie Hebdo, Actuel and Le Parapluie are the most successful and enduring flagships of an underground wave that was sweeping through a generation of baby-boomers who were building their own culture as an alternative to the dominant ideology.*