In 2020 real-life anarchist bookfairs were, sadly, largely out of the question and very little happened which wasnât virtual, including in Dundee, Edinburgh and London which ran extensive showings. This trend continued into the first half of the year, with the recent Edinburgh Anarchist Feminist Bookfair putting on an excellent event on May 29th-30th (viewable here, and recommendable for podcast-type listening if youâre into that sort of thing).
As the summer goes on however and, to a limited degree, ânormalityâ returns, several bookfair groups have tentatively pitched the possibility of physical events happening in the late summer or early autumn, with the hope being that warm weather will help protect from lockdowns. This does of course mean a certain foreshortening of the bookfairs âseasonâ, and in some cases a smaller-scale showing, but gives us just enough excuse to do a bijou version of our annual Freedom roundup! As many of the usual suspects are yet to set a date these are presented in alphabetical order, to be changed up as and when more info is forthcoming. If youâve been left out let us know and weâll add you!
Note: All details are subject to change, be it due to unforeseen pandemic problems or because sometimes stuff goes wrong. (TLDR: Bradford Sept 4th, London Sept 11th, Newcastle May 11th 2022)
At the 1 in 12 Club
This year will see a reduced number of stalls due to social distancing, with a planned talk by Michael OâBrian about his book and time in a call centre and the usual mix of poetry/performance art. This will be followed by an evening of Anarchist Games, then to wrap the evening off there will be a DJ Request Show with snacks and chat with more informal games (do bring your own).
Stalls: Members Bar 2nd/Middle Floor: Anarchist Communist Group, 0161 Festival, PM Press/AK Press/Active Distro, Punk Ethics/No Sweat, Pirate Press, Cubesville, UTP Radio, Forged Books, Tyneside Anarchist Archive, Leeds Solidarity Federation
Food: Will be available in the 1 in 12 Cafe from 11am til about 3pm.
Talks/Poets/Performance: 12.30-4pm in the CafĂ©/Library 3rd/Top Floor.
Games Evening followed by DJ request show: 4.30-9.00pm in the CafĂ©/Library:
- Scheduled Games Competition â ÂŁ2 entry fee or a donation (all money goes to the club!) â prizes for winners. Run by Pirate Press and hosted by Tatty Hoggarth (check out their stall)! Includes Bingo, Cluedo and Top Trumps.
- 7pm to 9pm: DJ Jim request show with snacks, chat and good times.
The folks down in Dorset have unfortunately lost use of their favoured venue due to renovations rendering it unsuitable for an all-day event, but if they can find a good place to set up shop are fully intending to do so with an assortment of stalls and talks. Theyâre asking anyone who can help out with ideas for a space, anywhere in the county is doable but it needs to be:
- 600 quid or less.
- space for 20 plus 6âČ tables.
- At least one separate meeting room, ideally two.
- Cooking facilities.
- Disabled access.
- Car parking.
- Able to host an afterparty (outside perhaps) there or very close by.
London Anarchist Bookfair and Antiuniversity
The Antiuniversity and the Anarchist Bookfair in London are joining forces to bring together a week-long Antiuniversity Festival from the 4th to the 10th of September, followed directly by the Anarchist Bookfair on the 11th of September. To book a stall or a workshop for the Bookfair day, please get in touch with the Bookfair Collective early, as spaces might be limited. The physical event has been scaled down in order to be Covid responsible, and depends on the ongoing situation.
Antiuniversity events will be programmed in the usual way, directly through the Antiuni website. Submissions will be open between 3-24 July and the programme will go live in early August. The entire festival, 4-11 Sept, will take place in-person (when possible) and digitally. Please check out the Antiuni and the Bookfair websites for more information.
The current update on is short and sweet, TBC, but it comes with a nice poster!
âWe donât know what form the Manchester & Salford Anarchist Bookfair 2021 will take, or where or when it will happen but we are are planning things! Watch this space!â
May 21st 2022 at the Star and Shadow Cinema
Facebook | Contact: newcastleanarchistbookfair [at] protonmail.com
Winner of the planning ahead award, this wonât be until next year but good to see theyâll be back at their perennial home! Further details TBC, and theyâre looking for folks to help put the whole shebang together so send them a message.
While unconfirmed as yet, an organiser says itâs most likely to happen, Covid willing, towards the end of the year. In previous years itâs been held at the Mechanics Institute.
Aberdeen: Last yearâs virtual showing was in November, so if it does happen it may not be until towards the end of the year.
Keep an eye on their Facebook for any announcements.
London: Pre-Covid the London Radical Bookfair was the Summer child to the Anarchist Bookfairâs Autumn grumbler, but things are yet to pick up where they left off. According to one of the organisers itâs almost certainly going to be a 2022 affair.
Website | Facebook
Bristol (Anarchist): Nothing thus far.
Glasgow: The bookfair had in 2019 been organised by Glasgow Autonomous Space, which has been going through some difficulties. The good news is that a community collective has come forward to continue running the space, the less good news is that sorting it all out may take up too much time for also running bookfair type shenanigans.
Website | Facebook
Pic: Promo image for the Edinburgh Bookfair 2021