Surrealism and Anarchism
By Pietro Ferrua
Pietro Ferrua’s manifesto “Surrealism and Anarchism” explores little-known and relatively unexamined collaborations between surrealists and anarchists, in particular the surrealist collaboration with “Le Libertaire,” the weekly publication of the Anarchist Federation in France in the early 1950s. Documents such as these are rare, and translations into English are even more obscure. This booklet presents Ferrua’s thoughts on participation of surrealists in anarchist initiatives, and surrealist writings in anarchist publications. The essay also closely examines the tension with anarchist militants who demanded concrete political art, which led to the end of the collaboration in “Le Libertaire” after just fifteen months.
Surrealism and anarchism have always engaged in distinct forms of resistance that share common goals and common ground, providing fertile opportunities for each to galvanize the other: both attack the paradigm of the State, capital, and religion, with surrealism breaching the narrative of control and domination, generally unseen within the wider struggle. This publication looks back to look forward: in what ways can anarchists and surrealists engage in resistance together? What role does surrealist art play in disrupting the oppression of everyday life, loosening the chains which bind us to coercive power, widening a breach for revolutionary action?
“Surrealism and Anarchism” includes Ferrua’s 1957 essay “I’ll Risveglio” (“The Awakening”), on the penetration and influence of anarchist ideals in endeavors of science, literature, pedagogy, and psychology. “Let’s look at what needs to be done, at what there is to defend and what there is to destroy,” writes Ferrua.
This booklet features art by Megan Leach, Franklin Rosemont, and Penelope Rosemont.
53pp pocket-size paperback