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An Invitation

Hello again,

It’s been some time since we’ve posted an update. Life has been somewhat hectic for your friendly local anarchist bookfair organisers to be sure, however over the past month we’ve managed to have a couple of meetings and decided our next steps.

We’d like to invite you to the
now-digital Bookfair 2020!

As we’ve detailed in our previous update, we’ve postponed the physical bookfair to October 2021 and are instead doing an online event in October this year. We plan to have workshops, organiser meetings, talks and online chatrooms, plus an interactive digital floorplan of the physical bookfair, where participating groups can have a space to display information about themselves and links to their websites, resources, social media, merch, etc.

We’re trying to build as good a digital alternative to the physical one as possible and we want to have as many of you participating as possible!

Keep an eye on the blog and our social media accounts for information about sign-ups and further announcements.

Best wishes,

The Bookfair Crew

P.S. Any groups or individuals who want to participate or have ideas or suggestions, you are as always more than welcome to get in touch!

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Digital Bookfair – A Proposal

Dear Comrades, 

At the start of May we made the decision to postpone the anarchist bookfair in London this year (promoted as “Bookfair 2020: Anarchist Bookfair in London”) until October next year (2021) due to the coronavirus pandemic. Regardless of the statuses of lockdown or the physical distancing policy, it did not seem fitting to raise funds nor hold a mass gathering so soon after such a difficult time in which so many people have suffered. 

We do however feel that we would be remiss in not providing an alternative forum for the sharing of anarchist thinking, theory and organising, which under the circumstances we believe can be best provided for by holding a digital event, something we would greatly appreciate your thoughts on. 

We are proposing to organise and facilitate an event over the weekend of October the 17th/18th in which we would host a calendar of events including pre-recorded talks, live workshops and an array of anarchist media. In a digital age, a digital bookfair of sorts was always going to eventually be part and parcel of such events, however in the absence of a physical bookfair we should aim to make a digital one as grand as possible.  Comrade in Montreal recently held such an event and Stockholm Anarchist Bookfair will be holding one on this Saturday. There is also the AntiUni Festival 6-13 June which involves several events in virtual space within it’s programme.

Our digital Bookfair would be based around a custom-built website which would feature an illustration of the bookfair’s layout, akin to how it would have appeared physically. Each stall in this illustration would be a link which would take you to a page providing information on your organisations/campaigns, resources, links to store fronts, downloads and other digital events we would love you to arrange concurrently. 

Alongside this we would host two days of international discussion and education via: 

– Workshops and organiser meetings
These would be via a professional video and audio service which we would provide and could range from large-scale Q&A sessions to more intimate skill-sharing events, streaming events or closed organiser meetings. 

– Talks
We would like to set up three temporary studios in two or three cities across the UK and organise 2/3 days (across July/August) when comrades can come and record a talk, skill-share, reading, etc. We would also provide knowledge and support in making such content at home to host during the bookfair. 

– Chatrooms
These could be used for Q&A’s, talking about your network, looking for advice, knowledge or support. We would provide a text/audio place to meet and greet with comrades, not just in the UK but around the world. 

We would not charge any entry fees nor have digital events such as the workshops behind a paywall (though there may be limited tickets) and we would not charge digital stall holders any fee to partake. We’re happy to take on the vast majority of the legwork to make this happen and the level of your involvement in your specific section of the bookfair would determined by your network. At the very least we aim to give every stall holder a bespoke space that provides an introduction to visitors, hosts resources and if appropriate provides downloads or even a space to chat live. 

We’re interested in your thoughts and ideas! Does this sound like something you’d like to take part in? If we’re missing a trick, or you’ve an event you’d like to run, let us know! Perhaps you’d be keep to use the platform top hold a benefit gig, DnD sessions or live share news and media from the front lines. We’re very keen to hear your thoughts and gauge interest before we make the final call at our meeting at the end of June. 

So please get in touch with us, either via email or our social media pages, even if it’s just to say hello. This will help us to see if people are interested in supporting such an event, helping to set it up or are just keen to take part as attendees. As mentioned, we’ll be holding our next meeting towards the end of June and will be making the final call then, so please talk with your networks and see if you’d like to get involved, host a digital stall or perhaps even contribute a talk or workshop.

Please share your ideas with us and tell us what we can do to make this work for you. 

The Bookfair Crew.

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Callout for artist contributions

Bookfair 2020 signals the return of a distinct anarchist bookfair to London.

The event is being held in October 2020 in North London. We are looking to provide a powerful, vibrant and diverse bookfair, and this begins with the visual tone we set in our posters.

To this end, we are asking creative comrades to consider helping us by donating a bit of their time and energy, to help us create our promotional posters. This commission would be voluntary due to our position as a new collective with no budget at present. (This is a situation we intend to solve with several fundraising campaigns in 2020.)

OBJECTIVE: We would like original pieces of artwork that address a specific issue that is prominent in the Anarchist movement right now. The context of this picture is up to the artist, as is the arrangement; however, it must cater for the word BOOKFAIR 2020 spanning the top ten per cent and the bottom ten being given over for venue details and date. The design should also include our website address:

We are purposefully not including elements such as slogans, instead we favour putting the art at the forefront of the design, to create a more “timeless” poster set.

Topics could include, but are not restricted to:

  • Anti Capitalism
  • Class Struggle
  • Anarchist Heritage & History
  • Internationalism
  • Queer Politics
  • Anti Fascism
  • Trans Solidarity
  • Environmentalism / Ecology
  • De-colonialism
  • No-Borders
  • Anti War
  • Revolutionary Music

Whilst not on a “first come first serve” basis, we would ideally like to cover as much of the spectrum as possible, and will provide feedback on which ones are already covered.

WHO ARE WE ENGAGING? The local London anarchist cadre are going to hear about Bookfair 2020 through their daily lives and organising. Our focus here is on reaching out to the wider communities, and to plant seeds of interest in the politics of anarchism.

We need to reach beyond the choir and speak to those for whom “Anarchism” means chaos and some horrific dog eat dog society. As a prominent event in the anarchist diary, it is important that we build bridges, reach out to our fellow workers, and provide a forum for the sharing of ideas and the empowerment of communities.

Due to the variety of creatives we are seeking input from for this, we are sure we will have art that appeals to a broad section of the community. However we would like to note that contributors should not feel restriction to “play up to” more traditional Anarchist artwork, ie. everything red and black and heavy with the punk/DIY feel; tho this is perfectly welcome as well of course!

SPECIFICATIONS: The primary size of usage will be portrait A2 (420 x 594mm), although the design should function at both A1 (594 x 841mm) and A7 (74 x 105mm).

The final pieces will be utilised in print, online, and on various bits of merchandise.

All mediums are welcome. If your work is digital, providing us with the “design” elements to aid with making additional media would be most welcome.

If you have any questions, or would simply like to get in touch and talk about the project, please email us at or message us on any of our platforms.

The deadline for contributions is 1st March 2020.

In Solidarity,

Bookfair 2020

[ Additional note, Templates for layout and masthead can be sourced by emailing us]



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Report from the Jan 4th Meeting

On Saturday the bookfair organising committee got the new year of to a good start by holding a rather productive final meeting before our campaign begins proper on the 1st of Feb.

There were six in attendance from a diverse array of backgrounds and Anarchist tendencies.

Our agenda was
– Review the poster brief
– Updating the website
– Invite list and method of application
– The timeline for organising
– Changed to the social media
– Volunteers
– Fundraising

For the posters we decided to go with an open call out for artists and comrades who wish to contribute their skills. We will be asking artists to choose one of the many issues prominent to the anarchist struggle right now and build a poster around that theme, We will then share it far and wide and make these resources for anyone to print and use. This brief will be shared on our website and on friendly websites over the next few days, but feel free to contact us if you would like us to send you a copy. There will be a deadline of the 1st of March for submissions.

The website is serviceable and functionary but we wanted to have a chat about ways in which we could improve this. As a primary concern we’ll be added a form for applications, so folk can book stalls and talks. We’re also going to include specific space for information of travel, schedule, volunteering and inclusion. This last one will include a contact form so people can let us know about any special assistance they might need.

Regarding our invite list, we decided (as it is rather expansive) we would take a passive position and let interested parties come to us. This is with the exception of groups who we would particularly like to attend and comrades wight otherwise not be aware of it.
This application form will be up prior to launch.

We discussed cost and tho we aren’t able to give an exact costing, we are intent on keeping this minimal and also on two tiers. Traders paying a stall cost and Non-Trading campaign groups paying a returnable deposit instead. This is to allow groups with no budget to attend as well as go to ensuring we don’t have empty tables.

We will also be holding a “non attending due to laws and borders” stall where we will feature materials from those unable to attend due issue such as Visas, incarceration or travel expense.

We will be utilising a modified timeline model shared to us via Bristol Anarchist Bookfair which has been converted to a general resource by members of the Anarchist Federation. We’ll be reviewing this over the next month and after our meeting in Feb will no doubt issue this forward as relevant so people can make plans to attend the various fundraisers, training sessions and meetings we are planning.

We chatted about how best to utilise Facebook and Twitter, increasing the number of admins and coming up with a regular posting habit, certainly from the 1st of Feb. So look forward to that!

While we’ve got pencilled in cover for things like security and child care, we had a chat about what other volunteers we’ll need on the day, and what preparation we might need for that. We’ll no doubt issue a call out much closer to the time but if you have an interest in being involved with bookfair in a “on the day” capacity feel free to drop us your contact and we’ll say hello closer to the time.

We’re starting from scratch here and probably punching a bit above our weight class here with some grand schemes in mind so fundraising it going to be an important one to get right. We discussed having a few good ol’ gigs and parties alongside a online campaign and a more simple “donate here” button on the website.

All of which we’ll probably be implementing over the next month, so watch this space and thank you to those who have already contributed! This material solidarity really is going to be put to good use!

Our next organising meeting will be on Sat 1st Feb at 6pm, if you would like to get involved in organising Bookfair 2020 say hello via email or private message.

Love and Rage

~ The Bookfair2020 Crew



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