“Active Intolerance: Michel Foucault, the Prisons Information Group, and the Future of Abolition” explores the Prison Information Group (GIP), an organization founded by notable academics, including Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze, to expose the deplorable conditions of the French Prison system.
“Little information is published on prisons,” Foucault announced on behalf of the GIP. “It is one of the hidden regions of our social system, one of the dark zones of our life. We have the right to know; we want to know.”
In this interview, I spoke with the book’s editors, Perry Zurn and Andrew Dilts, about the legacy and lessons of the GIP.
Eugene Wolters: What was the GIP?
Perry Zurn: The GIP (or Le Groupe d’information sur les prisons, the Prisons Information Group) was a prison activist organization in France, conceived of in 1970 and operational well into 1973. Beyond this simple description, the GIP can be characterized in a number of competing ways.