• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Your guide to the Lighthouse Bookshop’s Radical Book Fair 2023

ByRhona Bowie

Nov 9, 2023
the outside Lighthouse bookshop

Today marks the beginning of Lighthouse Bookshop’s Radical Book Fair! Lighthouse is a staple in the Edinburgh literary community and has some fantastic events happening in the next few days all within the theme of ‘Revolutionary Feeling.’

Thursday 9th November

Gary Younge: From Nelson Mandela to Black Lives Matter

Journalist, author and professor, Gary Younge, is kicking off the fair with a conversation about systems of power and how they operate in both the personal and the collective. 

The Stories We Bring

This event will have three key speakers: Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, Matt Colquhoun and Nathalie Olah. Manzoor-Khan is a writer and a poet who covers how we can work towards a better reality. Writer and photographer Colquhoun is best known for writing about the work of Mark Fisher and is currently doing their PhD in philosophy at Newcastle University. Finally, Olah is a journalist who focuses her work on intersections between politics and contemporary culture, with special focus on marginalised and working class communities. 

Friday 10th November 

Poster making workshop: A picture is worth a thousand words

This is a poster making class with Celeste John Wood, the artist who created this year’s Radical Book Fair poster. Lighthouse says that this workshop will explore “the use of image, text and pattern in book cover art.”

Lavender Menace X Kate Charlesworth

The Lavender Menace, originally opened as a gay and lesbian bookshop in Edinburgh in 1982, has been revived as a Queer Books Archive and will be in collaboration with cartoonist Kate Charlesworth to unveil some new and exclusive queer portraits. 

Abolition Here and Everywhere

A panel of activists from Glasgow Prisoner Solidarity, criminology lecturer Dr Phil Corckett Thomas, and writer and poet Jj Fadaka will discuss prisoner solidarity on a local and global scale. 

Read Think Act

This event will host three keynote speakers on the intersections between writing, activism and politics. Yara Rodrigues Fowler is a writer and climate justice organiser; Yasmin El-Rifae is a writer as well as the editor and producer of The Palestine Festival of Literature; and Phil Wrigglesworth is co-founder of Left Cultures, which aims to celebrate the creation of culture through storytelling and illustration. 

Feminist Performances and Open Mic: Our thread of gold

Catherine Joy White and Gemma Cairney, the co-authors of Immortal Sisterhood, will be joined by other artists to openly explore “legacy, the collective and autonomy.” The event will feature discussion, crafting, and even an open mic!

Saturday 11th November 

Activist Zine Making Workshop

This workshop is exclusively for young people (aged 15-21) and will consist of zine-making in partnership with the Blunt Knife Co. 

No Platform: Solidarity & censorship from BDS to Trans Rights

This panel will feature writer and activist Dr Hil Aked and Dr Gina Gwenffrewi as they discuss marginalised identities and issues with institutions, public spaces and legitimacy. 

New Intimacies

Authors Hannah Silva, Sophie Chauhan and Lynne Segal will discuss care, intimacy and kinship, stretching our understandings of these concepts and their radical potential.

Climate Power Shifts: Fuel, resistance and the way forward

The climate journalism and filmmater Terry Macalister will be joined by This is Rigged, a campaign targeting the Scottish government’s inaction towards the climate crisis, to discuss the intersection of fossil fuels and capitalism. 

A World to Live For: On feeling a global crisis

Jessica Gaitán Johannesson and Nadia Karim (Everyday Writes) will cover how we can navigate a world in a mental-health and climate crisis.

Alliances in the Making

Philosopher Arianne Shahvisi, social activist Jenni Keasden, and writer Layla-Roxanne Hill will discuss the power that lies in coalition. This event promises to offer “insights, stories and questions about how common ground can be found under pressure.”

A Feminist Cabaret

A host of speakers – Jj Fadaka, Titi Farukuoye, Lisa Fannen, Lakshmi Ajay and Aliya Davids – will answer questions such as “Where does the individual meet the collection?” and “What moves us to act in solidarity?” in this feminist cabaret.

Sunday 12th November 

Pandemics of Inequality: Our health under patriarchal capitalism

Nick Dearden, the director of Global Justice Now; Saleyha Ahsan, a physician and broadcaster, and Leah Hazard, an NHS midwife, will discuss the global health inequalities being faced today and what can be done to address them.

Minor Detail: A reading group of Palestinian fiction

A discussion featuring Adania Shibli’s novel Minor Detail about the role of literature in wartime, especially on Palestine and Israel. 

Free to Decide: Reproductive right for all

What do reproductive rights mean today? This discussion will feature writers Kirsty Logan, Alice Spawls and Sian Norris in conversation.

Adapt or Remake: What if it’s the system, not you?

Authors Micha Frazer-Carroll, Robert Chapman, and Fiona Robertson will examine capitalism, society and health – and who has a say in all three. 

Right to the Centre: Online extremism and how to resist

Alice Cappelle, the author of Collapse Feminism, and Gemma Milne, a PhD researcher at the University of Edinburgh, will speak on how extreme ideologies are fostered within the digital space, from racism to conspiracy theories. 

Raquel Barela: Neil Davidson Memorial Lecture

Berela will be honouring Davidson’s work on the radical left with her lecture entitled “Uneven and Combined Development in Neil Davidson’s work.”

To get tickets to any of these events you can head over to Lighthouse Books website at https://lighthousebookshop.com/events/radical-book-fair-2023-radical-feeling. And if you can’t make it in person, don’t worry – all of them will be filmed and live streamed for your enjoyment!

Image courtesy of Rayna Carruthers.