Document Type

Book Chapter - On Campus Only

Publication Date



At a press conference on February 8, 1971, Michel Foucault announced the creation of Le Groupe d’information sur les prisons (the Prisons Information Group [GIP]). Reading aloud what would retrospectively be dubbed the GIP manifesto, Foucault presented the GIP as an activist organization committed to amplifying the voices of those with first-hand knowledge of the prison, thereby creating a space for articulations and assessments from below. As the manifesto states: We plan to make known what the prison is: who goes there, how and why they go there, what happens, what life is like for the prisoners and, equally, for the supervisory staff, what the buildings, diet, and hygiene are like, how internal regulation, medical supervision, and the workshops function; how one gets out and what it is, in our society, to be one of those who has gotten out. The GIP planned to do this by letting “those who have an experience of prison speak.” It was the GIP’s mission to honor and circulate subjugated knowledge about the prison.

Recommended Citation

Dilts, Andrew and Zurn, Perry. “Active Intolerance: An Introduction.” In Active Intolerance: Michel Foucault, the Prisons Information Group, and the Future of Abolition, edited by Perry Zurn and Andrew Dilts, 1–19. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.