We’re not sure to be delighted or frustrated that there are two radical book fairs happening in Scotland at the same time. Is this evidence that neither end of the M8 activists can co-ordinate with each other – or that we have such a buzz of activity going on that it’s uncontainable? Whatever the answer each month Bella will be previewing the live events, significant meetings and happenings in the weeks ahead across Scotland, So feel free to submit them and if we think they’re interesting we’ll put them in our monthly preview section…this month featuring the Independent Radical Bookfair (Edinburgh), Doc8 (Glasgow) Positively Independent Conference (Glasgow) and Changin Scotland (Ullapool).
THE 14TH EDINBURGH INDEPENDENT RADICAL BOOK FAIR – THE ALTERNATIVE BOOK FESTIVAL will take place from Wednesday 27th to Sunday 31st October 2010 in Out of the Blue Drill Hall, 30-38 Dalmeny Street, Edinburgh. There’s loads on at the Book Fair but we’ve just picked out a handful from a packed programme. Go here to see the full programme.
The radical book fair will be opened by Ilan Pappe (pictured0 – one of the ‘new historians’ of the Middle East, with a distinctive view of Arab-Israeli relations. Read a Znet interview with him here. He is the author of ‘A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples‘ (2004) and more recently ‘The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine‘ .
He is Professor in the Institute for Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter, the Director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies in Exeter and the Co-Director of the Exeter Centre for Ethno-Political Studies. Ilan Pappe launches the bookfair on Wednesday 27 October 2010 at 7.00pm.
Other great stuff includes…a forum on The Radical Animal: Innovation, Sustainability and Human Nature with Pat Kane (Thursday 28 October 2010 at 6.30pm). We are facing an environmental crisis which demands that we aim at a low-growth, carbon-lite economy, with a supporting lifestyle and values. But how easily will a connected, marketing-drenched, gadget-loving generation be able to get beyond hyper-consumerism? Pat Kane, author of The Play Ethic, will explore these difficulties, and suggest that our playful natures might be one way to balance innovation and sustainability.
The Verdict (Thursday 28 October 2010 at 7.45pm) Guardian social and political commentator Polly Toynbee, and editor of Public and former chief leader writer on the Independent David Walker , launch their new book The Verdict . Do politics effect or reflect changes in public opinion? In this lively and acerbic analysis they investigate the failures and achievements of Labour’s time in office and ask if politics ever really change anything? From the gleeful consumerism of the boom times to the misery of the economic bust they assess the era of Blair and Brown and ask What Have Labour Done?
Film Screening: Given to the People, followed by discussion with the producer, Simon Yuill (Saturday 30 October 2010 at 5.30pm) Given to the People tells the story of the Pollok Free State. The Free State was initiated by the actions of local resident, Colin Macleod, who began a tree-top protest against the building of the M77 motorway through Pollok Park in the early 1990s. Over several years this grew into a series of camps across Pollok. It sought not only to block an unwanted motorway cutting through one of Europe’s largest inner city public commons, land that had been gifted to the people of Glasgow, but also raised issues over the rights of local people to determine the use and development of public space – rights that many felt were being denied.
Scottish political songs (Saturday 30 October 2010 at 8.30pm) with Ewan McVicar, Stuart McHardy, Eileen Penman, Nancy Nicolson and others to celebrate the launch of The Eskimo Republic: Scots Political Song in Action 1951-1999. Ewan McVicar’s latest book investigates the historical roots of Scots political song, and considers the role of key activists and songmakers, and how new and old Scottish songs fuelled and reported on political actions and campaigns, from the 1950 reiving of the Stane of Destiny through the growth of the SNP to the 1999 reopening of the Scottish Parliament, and on peace campaigns and protests from the 1960s to the 1990s.
Other highlights include: Paul Kingsnorth, Alasdair Gray, Simon Pirani, Joan Waldemath, Rachel Hewitt and many more.
Listen to extracts from the classic The Hale and the Hanged from Christie Books site here.
Meanwhile DOCUMENT 8 is about to kick-off in Glasgow. The Document festival series was founded in 2003 by co-ordinators Mona Rai and Paula Larkin. Originally a collaboration with SpiritAid and Variant magazine, Document 1 was created in response to the discrimination faced by asylum seekers and refugees in Glasgow. It was intended to challenge negative media attitudes by providing factually correct social context through the films it screened. Since then, Document has brought more than 500 films on a vast range of themes to audiences in Glasgow and beyond. But it’s grown into much more than that. From 26 to 31 October 2010 at the CCAin Glasgow …”an unmissable programme of powerful documentaries dealing with human rights & social issues from all over the world will be accompanied by lectures, discussions, forums, workshops, Q&A’s, exhibitions, performances, live music, DJs, bookstall and videotheque. Sometimes controversial, always real, Document creates an international territory at the CCA for a few days in October, where local people rub shoulders with filmmakers, activists, academics – a place where you don’t have to shout to be heard and speech is as free as it comes.” Get the full programme here and see preview clips from some of the films here.
Also also also running alongside Doc8 the next RIB includes loads of great talks and workshops including: (THURS 28th) Hilary Horrocks, translator of the forthcoming AK Press title ‘In The Crossfire’, discusses the revolutionary struggle to free Vietnam from French colonial rule and (FRI 29th) Michael Albert continues his tour of the UK with a talk on ‘Life After Capitalism – vision and strategy for a participatory economy’ and ‘Organising – strategy for the anti-capitalist movement’. Full listings here.
Next up we have CHANGIN’ SCOTLAND A weekend of politics, culture and ideas …. And fun! Friday November 5th-Sunday November 7th at The Ceilidh Place, Ullapool. Join Jean Urquhart and Gerry Hassan for the latest weekend of good conversation, challenging ideas, and relaxation.
Speakers include: Bea Campbell, writer, commentator and campaigner: On Men, Ian Jack, The Guardian, author, ‘The Country Formerly Known as Great Britain’ – examines Scottish Culture, Alex Massie, from the Spectator on Scottish Identity, Dreams and the Sad State of Football. Tom Miers, Policy Exchange, author, ‘The Devolution Distraction’ – Why Devolution has Failed Scotland and Eleanor Yuill, writer and filmmaker – Glasgow and the Power of Scottish Miserablism. To book a place call The Ceilidh Place: 01854-612103. Weekend ticket for sessions: £60
Finally the POSITIVELY INDEPENDENT CONFERENCE take a fresh look at what Scotland could do with the power of independence. 7th November 2010 at 11am Glasgow Piping Centre (30-34 McPhater Street, Glasgow G4 0HW) Positively Independent Conferencec 2010
The themes include: the economy and employment, social justice and poverty, Sustainable Scotland and the environment, Scotland’s role internationally.
Speakers inlcude: Professor Mike Danson, Pat Kane, Joan McAlpine, John McAllion, Craig Murray, George Kerevan, Kevin Williamson and Mike Small. Chaired by Elaine C. Smith. Contact the SIC here.