Quiet Revolutions: A Celebration of Radical Bookshops

We are very pleased to be participating in the Quiet Revolutions event at the Barbican on Saturday 26th November.


The event consists of a book fair, discussions and workshops exploring the legacies and futures of radical bookselling.


In the words of the organisers, “Radical bookshops, once found in every major town and city, are spaces of possibility and resistance, offering quiet browsing, public discussions and encounters between writers, readers and activists.”


Quiet Revolutions will see the Barbican Library host a bookfair with stalls from Britain’s best-known radical bookshops. Along with Shalimar Books, other stalls include Housmans, New Beacon Books, Gay’s The Word, Five Leaves and Newham Bookshop along with radical publishers and organisations Verso and Bishopsgate Institute.


Two panel discussions will include addresses and interventions on activism and books from historians and writers such as Sheila Rowbotham and Farrukh Dhondy along with key figures from the radical book world of the 1970s and 80s such as Ken Worpole of Centerprise and Jane Cholmeley of Silver Moon.


The programme for the day:


Bookfair: 10am-4pm, Barbican Library


12–2pm – Lino Printing Workshop

Explore how to make a linocut print from start to finish using the history of radical book covers. Led by Gemma Curtis @wildwaterartstore


2-3pm – Talk: Radical Bookshops Present, Barbican Library

Jim MacSweeney (Gay’s the Word)
Vivian Archer (Newham Bookshop)
Nik Górecki (Housmans)
Meera Ghanshamdas (Roundtable Books)
Ray Larman
(The Bookish Type)
Ross Bradshaw (Mushroom Books/Five Leaves)


5-6.30pm, Talk: Radical Bookshops Past, Auditorium I
Ken Worpole (Chair)
Sheila Rowbotham (Historian)
Farrukh Dhondy (Writer & Race Today Collective),
Jane Cholmeley (Silver Moon)
Lynn Alderson (Sisterwrite)
Michael La Rose (New Beacon)


Quiet Revolutions is curated by Rosa Schling from On The Record and the Alliance of Radical Booksellers, and is part of the Barbican’s The Edge of the Centre series, inviting artists and cultural workers working around the periphery of the Barbican to programme events in their spaces.


More about On The Record here, and the Alliance of Radical Booksellers here.

Photograph of Centerprise (c) Rio Cinema Archive


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