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Edinburgh’s Radical Bookshop

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Our 22nd Radical Book Fair

The Radical Book Fair is back!
Fair trading hours:
Thursday 1st: 12 -6pm
Friday 2nd – Sunday 4th: 10am – 6pm


The Independent & Radical Book Fair (RBF) is a four-day festival of ideas and action run by the team at Lighthouse – Edinburgh’s Radical community bookshop. The RBF showcases a huge variety of publishers and speakers, exposing readers to new and diverse voices, and offering a real flavour of radical and independent publishing.

Join us in discovering new voices, views and strategies to build a fairer world, with book stalls from old stalwarts like PM Press, New Beacon Books, Haymarket, AK Press and Verso, to new faces like Monstrous Regiment, 3Cups Press and BHP Comics. Over 50 publishers will be represented as well as indie authors, zine makers and pamphleteers – a veritable flee market of books and ideas.

All under one roof and therefore sharing the space with tables of books are activist stalls by local groups and organisations, a family play area and our main stage. Throughout the RBF we’ll be hosting daily events with writers and activists.

Our books and events will explore enduring ideas of the left and reflect on the major political issues of 2018: notably liberation movements, from Palestine to Catalonia; anti racism; free speech; intersectional feminism and economics for the many.

The RBF should be open and accessible to anyone : the venue has wheelchair access, there will be stim toys & a breakout space as well as a family area, bathrooms are gender neutral and other suggestions are welcome. The RBF is entirely free to visit and event attendance is by donation so pay what you can – these donations help us to cover the extensive costs of the Fair and widen access. A full accessibility breakdown will be available in the weeks before the fair.

EVENTS

Events will be listed on the bookshop’s Event page & you can book on eventbrite.

Speakers include A L Kennedy and Rosemary Goring; Hilary Wainwright, Nisha Kapoor, Juno Mac, Molly Smith, Keith Khan Harris, Sabeena Akhtar, and Dalia Gebrial.

On Sunday we’ll have a whole afternoon of celebrations and reflections on Palestinian culture and the liberation movement there with music by the San Ghanny Choir, poetry and food!

INCLUSION

DO I HAVE TO BE A ‘RADICAL’ TO ATTEND OR SUPPORT THIS EVENT?

Absolutely not. We want the event to be open and welcoming to all groups and individuals who are, or who support marginalised and oppressed people.

We welcome stall applications from any group committed to building a fairer future, from environmentalist to anarchist. In particular we welcome help from signers, translators and helpers – people to help make the event accessible, whatever their politics!

WHO IS WELCOME?

People of all backgrounds, genders and creed are welcome and we particularly want to welcome those who don’t generally feel represented or welcome in other radical spaces or traditional Book Festivals.

The Radical Book Fair, just like the bookshop is run by a diverse group of people and we want to offer a safe, empowering, welcoming space of discovery for all readers, especially those of us traditionally on the margins – people of colour, migrants, queer, trans and intersex people, disabled people, people on benefits, sex workers, and people living in poverty.

These are the voices we will be trying to center, celebrate and amplify through the Fair. Whoever you are, if you are interested in hearing those voices, please do come.

IS ANYONE NOT WELCOME?

Yes. We are not interested in stalls or groups from mainstream political parties, Trotskyist and Stalinist organisations – they already have lots of events of their own, although individual members from such groups are welcome to attend.

Groups whose bigotry contravenes our Safe Spaces Policy will not be allowed to attend the Fair. This includes but is not limited to trans exclusionary radical feminist groups – such as Women’s Place. The event will have a Safer Spaces agreement drawn from the shop’s existing policy and all who attend, including our speakers, are expected to abide by the agreement throughout the Fair.

HISTORY

The Edinburgh Independent & Radical Book Fair was launched by Wole Soyinka in 1996 and was run for 20 years by Word Power Books, before being relaunched by Lighthouse (the new incarnation of the Word Power Bookshop, which opened in 2017).

The Book Fair is a staple of Edinburgh’s political and literary landscape; a vibrant, open celebration of the best in contemporary radical writing. Previous speakers have included Owen Jones and Nawal El Saadawi, Jackie Kay, Shami Chakrabarti, Michael Rosen and Annie Miller – to name but a few!


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