The Manchester and Salford Anarchist Bookfair, which has been going for 16 years, kicks off at Partisan on Cheetham Hill Road next Saturday, 2nd December, and has everything you'd expect from a full on, seven hour radical event.
Sponsored by The Cunningham Amendment, the longest surviving anarchist journal in the UK, the Bookfair has loads of anarchist stuff but a hell of a lot more besides.
Our favourite is the intriguing 'radical bird walk' called Reclaiming the Hides where, instead of spying on the winged wonders through binoculars, the walk and talk sets out to "explore the radical examples set by birds, and to reframe birdwatching as an act that, while not revolutionary in itself, is one worthy of anyone who wants to build a better world"...included will be "references to class war, the disestablishment of nation states, polyamory and alternative forms of parenting".*
Amongst the eleven talks at the Bookfair, there's also one on 'conspiracy theories', one on 'anarchist approaches to youth work' and a session on 'Spycops' in which activists targeted by spycops talk about the issue.
Other fascinating talks include Personalities out of Politics, Issues into Politics!, including an update from the Zapatista Communities in Mexico, and Subvertising and Détournement with the Brandalism Collective...
"The art of subverting advertising is growing in popularity as a means to reclaim public space from corporate messages" states the blurb "In this session, we'll look at some of the critiques of corporate advertising centred around consumerism, gender stereotypes, environmental justice, cultural values and the right to the city concept. We'll also take a look at the some of the latest creative methods from around the world in taking back public space."
Meanwhile, there's loads of stalls featuring everything from radical 'zines to DIY record labels, to collective book publishers, to social justice causes.
Stalls include ACORN, a tenants union starting a branch in Manchester; the Mary Quaile Club, which specialises in linking working class history with contemporary political issues; Street Edge Manchester, a radical working class sports and martial arts club where you pay-what-you-can-afford; the ace AK Press, a worker-run collective that publishes anything and everything independent and amazing; and Pumpkin Records, a collective that does records, gigs, festivals and recordings, and invites anyone to get involved.
For the first time, this year, the Salford Star is also having a stall at the Bookfair, where we will be flogging our latest line of hoodies, sweatshirts and mugs, and we'll have old 'collectable' copies of magazines available: plus our volunteer journalists, photographers and helpers will be on hand to discuss any crucial Salford issues.
The Manchester and Salford Anarchist Bookfair is where alternative Manchester and Salford comes together in a connecting showcase. If you've had enough of the endless Christmas markets and festive hype, this is the ultimate antidote...
There's also an after-fair party from 7pm to 11pm starring the relatively named Crywank, Epic Problem, Bolshy, Rotting Monarchs and Kiss Me, Killer... The after-fair show is £5 entrance in advance – for more details click here
The Manchester and Salford Anarchist Bookfair
Saturday 2nd December 11am-6pm
19 Cheetham Hill Road M4 4FY
The event is free entrance.
For further details and a full list of stalls and talks see www.bookfair.org.uk
* The Reclaim The Hides walk and talk is due to happen between 2pm and 4pm and is free (donations welcome). Anyone interested is asked to register in advance for confirmed details – click here. For further information also see the Facebook event page – click here
Full list of talks...
11:30am: The Future Anarchist Society
A talk by the Anarchist Federation North
12:30pm: Clousden Hill
An experiment in integrating new technology with co-operative living and working in the 1890s. Their story still offers insights into the problems of communal life and the relationship between 'utopias' and the wider world
1:30pm: 21st Century Anarcho-Syndicalism
Outlines how anarcho-syndicalism is adapting to the current rapidly changing economic and social climate.
2:30pm: Conspiracy/ WTF Capitalism
Plan C deliver a condensed version of the talk on conspiracy theories that was given at this year's Fast Forward Festival
Activists who are, or have been targeted by spycops talk about the issue. Plus an update on the state of the public inquiry on undercover policing.
4:30pm: In Defence of Youth Work
Discussion of anarchist approaches to youth work
12:30pm: Unlikely Heroes
Walter Lewis talks about his time seeking out and visiting small scale, organic farmers and growers across England and Wales, many of whom are motivated by an environmental activism.…
2pm Radical Birdwalk
2:30pm: An Introduction to the IWW
Interactive workshop in which participants can learn some of the up-to-date techniques which the IWW uses for on-the-job action. The IWW is a grass roots union that has struggled for workers' power around the globe since 1905.
3:30pm: Subvertising and Détournement with the Brandalism Collective
Will look at some of the critiques of corporate advertising centred around consumerism, gender stereotypes, environmental justice, cultural values and the right to the city concept, plus the latest creative methods from around the world in taking back public space.
4:30pm: Personalities out of Politics, Issues into Politics!
Update from the Zapatista Communities in Mexico, and information and debate on their most recent initiative as part of their long-term thinking.