Manifesto of the Groupe d’Information sur les prisons – a full translation

Progressive Geographies

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This text was co-authored by Michel Foucault, Pierre Vidal-Nacquet and Jean-Marie Domenach, and was first read at a news conference on 8 February 1971. It was subsequently published in Esprit in March 1971. As far as I know, the only partial translations of this important document are found in the English edition of Didier Eribon’s biography, Michel Foucault, translated by Betsy Wing, London: Faber and Faber, 1992, pp. 224-5; and in David Macey, The Lives of Michel Foucault, London: Random House, 1993, p. 258.

These translations are very good, but both are incomplete, and there are some interesting and important elements within the text that are somewhat obscured. This manifesto was issued right in the middle of Foucault’s first course at the Collège de France, now translated as Lectures on the Will to Know. There are several important resonances in the language. The version below attempts to make these…

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