Now in its 10th Year, the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair is a volunteer run event that hosts dozens of campaigns and publishers from across the UK and beyond.
We have helped thousands of people to educate, organise and begin to change the world. Scroll down for more info.
Website: https://www.bristolanarchistbookfair.org (and yes you are already here…)
Write to us:
Post: c/o 14 Robertson Road, Easton, Bristol BS5 6JY
Meetings: We currently meet every two weeks, and will likely start meeting weekly as the date gets closer. If you’d like to come along and get involved, contact us via any of the methods above.
What is ‘The Bookfair Collective’?
The Bookfair Collective is a group of individuals who came together voluntarily in spring 2008, inspired to hold a bookfair in Bristol later that year. Well we managed to put one on on 13 September at St Werburghs centre, it was the first anarchist bookfair in Bristol for 15 years – see the archive of all bookfairs. To achieve this we met regularly at Kebele social centre, and at meetings we made, and make, decisions by consensus. We are all active anarchists with involvement in a variety of campaigns and activities, and helping the Bookfair happen is an extension of those activities. We are though a small collective, so if you are inspired and committed please get in touch. For now we continue, reforming on a year by year basis, to organise a bookfair in Bristol.
For us the Bookfair has a few key aims:
– it is a very public & accessible event that promotes the full spectrum of anarchist ideas to whoever is interested in finding out more. It acts as a shop window into the anarchist movement.
– it is a great opportunity for anarchists & like-minded activists to get together, discuss & debate, network & plot, socialise & party.
In 2016 the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair Collective (BABC) agreed some key Aims for the 2016 Bristol Anarchist Bookfair with it’s theme of ‘Building An Anarchist Future’; at the same time we clarified & re-confirmed some basic Principles for present & future BABC’s to work with. Read them here.
We are not leaders however. Our role is largely administrative – sorting a venue, booking stalls & workshops, providing publicity, raising funds and helping the Bookfair run smoothly on the day. Any anarchist who wants to help facilitate the Bookfair is welcome to attend our meetings, but be aware they are busy meetings with lots to do! If you want to help without attending meetings there is plenty you can do – distribute publicity, raise funds (put on a benefit event), run a stall or workshop, volunteer at the Bookfair cafe, help set up and take down on the day. Just do it, or contact us for more info.
Whilst we will do our best to provide the physical structure for the Bookfair, and a smooth-running event on the day, without your participation dear reader, the Bookfair is nothing.
Events between Bookfairs…
After the relative success of the 2008 Bookfair, we were inspired to organise occassional events before the next Bookfair. These have occurred on a fairly small scale. They have consisted of either discussions/debates on topics of interest & relevance to anarchists – such as ‘what is class’; or about events of historical interest – such as ‘Can’t pay, Won’t Pay’ about the poll tax; or about current struggles – such as ‘Occupation, Occupation, Occupation’, and the anarchist resistance involved in ‘No 2010 Olympics’. Plus there is the odd benefit gig!
The frequency and scale of these occassional events will depend on the time and energy we have available to make them happen, bearing in mind our other individual projects. We are fortunate in any case in Bristol to have a number of other groups holding events of interest to anarchists – Bristol ABC, Bristol AFed, Bristol Radical History, and Kebele, to name just four! Check out our Local Links on the right to see what these four and many more are getting up to right now.
Funding the Bookfair
The money to put on the Bookfair is raised by the Bookfair Collective. Bristol bookfair costs have risen from approx £800.00 (2008) to £1950.00 (2015) as we’ve got bigger, which we raise in the following ways:
- holding benefit gigs and events. There are benefit gigs lined up before the Bookfair, and usually 1 or more social events on the night of the Bookfair (any takers for organising one?).
- charging stallholders a small amount .
- receiving donations from supporters now, and on the day of the Bookfair. Thanks to the Bristle Collective (publishers of the now closed Bristle mag) for their 2008 ‘start-up’ donation!
- the all day Bookfair cafe which has been run by the Kebele cafe collective. Any money made by the cafe gets split between the Bookfair Collective and the Cafe Collective.
Putting on the Bookfair is an example of self-funded autonomous activity. We have absolutely no big business backers, no lefty politicians trying to increase their street cred, and no middle class trust fund. We are independent of all political parties, self-interested groups, and paid advertising.
Nobody involved in putting on the Bookfair is paid money in any way. Any monies leftover after a Bookfair are retained to kick-start the next one, and/or donated out to local anarchist groups.
If you feel motivated to support the Bookfair financially, then thanks! You can send us cheques made payable to ‘Bristol Bookfair’, or drop off well-concealed cash, to the Bookfair Collective, c/o 14 Robertson Rd, Easton, Bristol BS5 6JY