Monday, February 4, 2013

The Past, Present and Future of Radical Pamphleteering, Wednesday 6th February 7:30pm

The Radical History Network of Haringey, London

The Past, Present and Future of Radical Pamphleteering

Wed 6th February 2013, 7.30pm
Wood Green Social Club, 3 Stuart Crescent, off the High Road, Wood Green, London N22 5NJ 
(Not far from Wood Green tube/end of White Hart Lane/nr Civic Centre)

"For centuries radical activists have had to self-publish to spread radical ideas which challenge the status quo and call for a better world. Often we have had to overcome lack of funds, access to printing, or even repression. Nevertheless countless millions of informative and inspirational leaflets, pamphlets, posters and newsletters have been distributed. Throughout history groups, campaigns and movements have been determined to speak out and present an alternative. How has this been achieved, and how are the methods changing today? And what can we foresee for the future?

We have invited two experienced activists to speak and help kick off the discussion....but we encourage anyone who wants to contribute to this discussion to do so, or you're just as welcome to come and listen and learn from others. All welcome.

Alex Hodson, from Past Tense, a publishing project based in South London...
"Pamphlets, Libels and Rhymes: strange confused tumults of the minde" Wanderings in the past. present and future of radical pamphleteering. Cheap, short sharp and subversive: the story of the pamphlet is intimately bound up with the history of radical ideas since the printing revolutionised communication in the 15th century. Dismissed by authority and sneered at by the learned, (but used by both when need arose), the pamphlet became the most widespread vehicle for news, public debate, and development of political theory, until gradually replaced by newspapers. Reading, passing on, publishing pamphlets, has formed a huge part of the practice of the movements we have taken part in. But in the age of the internet, does the printed pamphlet have any kind of future? With self-publishing so easy online, could the pamphlet soon be obsolete? With a short talk on some of the history of the pamphlet, and an open discussion on where it's going...

Tony Wood from Haringey Solidarity Group will focus on the local:  
With self-publishing so easy online, could the pamphlet soon be obsolete? We could easily add newsletters and leaflets to the sentence above. Why spend all that time, energy and money putting out “hard copy” when it’s much easier to “bang it out” online? But, there is more to newsletters and leaflets than just people reading them. They are a chance to have a presence on the streets; you get to talk, debate or argue with people face to face; and people can see that there are people “out there” doing something. During the anti poll tax campaign, the posters, leaflets and street stalls showed people that others were resisting, and gave them confidence to say NO! And anyway, what about the people who don’t have computers, or don’t want to sit in front of them all day?

Haringey Solidarity Group has had a presence on the streets of Haringey for over 20 years, and we can chat about how, what, and why it’s important. We will bring along a selection of the groups’ propaganda from the last 20 years to feast our eyes upon.

Other contributions we hope to put into the mix include some examples from Poland in the 1980s, examples of RaHN's own local activist and self publisher, Alan Woodward, self-publishing under the name of 'Gorter Press'; and of course anything you might like to bring up yourself...

You can also bring ideas for the RaHN Programme of discussions throughout 2013...."  

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