Le fond de l’air est rouge zine

by Stefan Christoff (Howl arts collective)

Le fond de l’air est rouge is a collection of texts about the 2012 Quebec student uprising by Montreal artist and activist Stefan Christoff. Written between spring 2011 and summer 2012, this series of articles includes first hand accounts of the incredible street protests in Montreal and reflections on the student strike within the context of Quebec revolutionary history. Published by the Howl! arts collective, this zine brings movement-based reporting originally published online into a physical format. The goal of this zine is to create a piece of cultural documentation on a key moment in Quebec popular history.

ggi zine cover

"From ‘la Grève Infine' to 'la Rève Infine’, Stefan Christoff’s Le fond de l’air est rouge inspires and challenges readers to confront the realities of localized cultural uprisings. Having followed the 2012 Quebec student strike from NYC where the privatization of education is also a frontline struggle, this collection of writings is a direct portal to the “printemps erable,” offering means of understanding the diversity campaigns that mobilized hundreds of thousands of people across institutional, generational, and cultural boarders in the name of accessible education for all. A critical reminder that the fight is everlasting!
— V
ictoria Sobel, Artist, activist, dreamer, Free Cooper Union

"Stefan Christoff’s cogent writings on the 2012 Quebec student strike help us to draw out some key learnings for future struggles: not least of which is that ordinary people organizing together can build counterpower, and movements which challenge the commodification of education and strike back at the mantra of austerity." Aziz Choudry, Assistant Professor, Department of Integrated Studies in Education, McGill University

"As I was going through Stefan’s Christoff chronicles Le fond de l’air est rouge, it felt, undoubtedly, that the 2012 student’s strike was part of the larger, much larger struggle against the numerous injustices of capitalism in Quebec and outside the province. The texts describe admirably the great mobilisation during the « printemps érable » at ten chosen moments of this historic battle for Education. Because the march toward gratuité scolaire is still to come, we must encourage and share inspiring texts like those of Stefan. Furthermore, one could feel the musician in the tone and the rythmic progressions of his writing style …”
— Michel Milot, cégep teacher, syndicalist and member of the affinity group Profs contre la hausse

"The Quebec student strike was far more than a mass refusal of neoliberal economics as applied to education—it marked a startling rebirth of the long struggle for social and economic justice in Quebec. Le fond de l’air est rouge keeps the dramatic events of 2011-12 alive by gathering together an on-the-ground account of the historical background, the causes, the student response, and the state crackdown that followed. It’s essential history, topped off by a look ahead at the larger struggle that must come next.” — Eric Laursen, activist and author of The People’s Pension

"To read Stefan Christoff’s words is as great a pleasure as to listen to his music. In words, as in sounds, he reminds us of the ongoing struggles for justice and of their lessons for future challenges to increasing state repression. For those who took part in the "printemps erable," this book will be a vivid reminder of the highs and the lows of daily life in the first half of 2012. For those who were only able to follow it from a distance, this book provides the critical context absent in mainstream media for understanding why so many stood in solidarity to demand free and fully accessible education." — Abby Lippman, longtime feminist and social activist working in the community and in academia.

"Stefan Christoff writes of an astounding upsurge in Quebec society that seemed to come from nowhere but was actually rooted in a long history of struggle. You feel the sense of political awakening and the realization that a democratic mass movement can actually pose the question of social transformation. These are precious and inspiring lessons that we can take into the even more massive and decisive struggles that lay ahead of us in the fight against international austerity."
— John Clarke, organizer at the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP)

Reviews / Media

rabble.ca — Stefan Christoff on the legacy of Quebec’s 2012 student strike

Escape Velocity Radio — Stefan Christoff on the Quebéc student strike

New Socialist Webzine interview — Reflections from the Québec Student Strike

Gorilla Radio interviewCFUV Radio, 101.9fm Victoria

video clipbooklet launch at Eckhardt-Grammate Hall, University of Winnipeg

CKUW Radio recording of launch at University of Winnipeg

Radio-Canada Saskatchewan interview

Doers, Makers and Thinkers CFUV Radio, 101.9fm Victoria

réflexions dans Recherches Sociographiques journal
à l’Université Laval, volume LIV, numéro 3

Order “Le fonds de l’air est rouge zine” by clicking the paypal button below and we will ship you your album by post. It will direct you to a PayPal payment page. Fulfillment and shipping will take around 2 weeks

Le fond de l’air est rouge zine is available at the following local bookshops


The Word Bookstore Montreal
469 Rue Milton, Montreal
Tél : 514-845-5640

Librairie Le Port De Tête
262, av Mont-Royal E
Tél: 514-678-9566

Concordia Community Solidarity Co-op Bookstore
2150 Bishop Street

Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Bookstore
211 Rue Bernard Ouest

Argo Bookshop
1915 Sainte-Catherine St W, Montreal

5478 St Laurent Blvd, Montreal

Librairie L’Insoumise
2033 St-Laurent
Tél: (514) 313-3489

New York City

172 Allen St, New York


Octopus Books
251 Bank Street, Ottawa, Ontario


Another Story Bookshop
315 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto


Mondragon Bookstore & Coffeehouse
91 Albert Street The Exchange District Winnipeg, MB


Camas bookshop
2620 Quadra Street
, Victoria


People’s Co-Op Bookstore
1391 Commercial Drive, Vancouver

Le fond de lair est rouge presentation at Cooper Union

Le fond de l’air est rouge launched in different cities in Canada and the U.S. info listed below. photo above taken during the Free Cooper Union action in New York City, a presentation inside the occupied presidents office.

New York City

Sunday May 19, 7pm at Bluestockings Bookstore, Café, & Activist Center, 172 Allen Street, New York City

Monday May 20, 7:30pm at Brecht Forum, 451 West Street (between Bank & Bethune Streets), New York.


Monday June 10, 7pm at Octopus Bookstore, 251 Bank Street, 2nd Floor (Octoups Books in Centretown). (event page)


Thursday June 13, 7pm at Another Story Bookshop, 315 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto. (event page)


Monday June 24, 7pm at Eckhardt Grammate Hall, University of Winnipeg (event page)


Wednesday, July 24, 7pm at Camas bookshop, 2620 Quadra Street. Traditional Lekwungen Territory


Saturday July 27, 6pm at People’s Co-Op Bookstore.


Friday, September 13, 6pm at AKA Autonomous Social Centre
75 Queen Street, Kingston, Ontario (event page)


Monday, September 23, 12:30pm
The HIVE, 1st floor Lockhart Hall
University of Winnipeg, event page


Wednesday, September 25, 7pm
Lower Hall of the United Fellowship Church
Regina, Saskatchewan
facebook event


Thursday, September 26, 7pm
Back Room at Amigos Cantina, 632 10th Street East
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, event page