- not by the book -
Kelman will read from his new novel, and lead a discussion around that, and whatever else crops up.
With musical support The Dirt Roadsters.
“James Kelman’s important new novel plays a soundtrack to America’s immigrant heritage, pulsing to a Zydeco rhythm and a Scottish beat. While being termed as among his most accessible works, it’s nice to find that the great author has not yet mellowed…” (Alan Bett, The Skinny)
PLEASE NOTE - although this event is FREE it is 'TICKETED' - you will need to get a free ticket from the CCA front desk box office beforehand - or HERE
There may be some available on the night but it is recommended that you book in advance or you may be disappointed!
Also note a similar event will also open the 20th Edinburgh Independent & Radical Book Fair - Wed 26th at 7pm -
see www.word-power.co.uk for details.
The Soil City Lab will be popping up for the afternoon to encourage an exploration of soil, what it is, what it does and why it matters. Join the Open Jar Collective for a drop in workshop 4 - 6pm with soil printing, fermenting and other activities. This will be followed by the launch of the Soil City zine 6 - 8pm, documenting their research and conversations so far.
As Variant's editorial group, we have conducted a study paced over the last couple of years into forms and practices of communication principally as they relate to artist-run activities in Scotland. In this, we are interested in how communication refers to a wide array of how we, alongside other social agents, engage in communicative and expressive cultural practices. But, importantly, we’re interested in how these processes are also shaped by the active governance of culture in Scotland and institutional spaces of representation:
• How can experiences be made sense of and what kinds of positions can be taken and voiced?
• How do relationships between communication and representation open up or foreclose democratic possibilities?
Attempting to correlate between politics and aesthetics, we want to explore the relations that mark communication as political – in how what is visible and invisible, sayable and unsayable, audible and inaudible connects with how we come to conceptualise our ways of doing and making the world.
“The Workers City group point towards the future. It is of groups like ours the future will be made.” (Farquhar McLay, The Reckoning, 1990). In and around 1990, the Workers City group undertook a strikingly antagonistic collective response to the European City of Culture phenomenon as it was being played out in Glasgow. Starting out from McLay’s provocative assertion above, this event will explore the contemporary relevance of the Workers City actions in relation to those now ubiquitous urban policy scripts which seek to define and exploit ‘creativity’. This event sees the Glasgow launch of Strickland Distribution’s online archiving of Workers City material and will be followed by two short film screenings and discussion.
Groups and individuals from Glasgow and Edinburgh meet up and explain what they do and how self organised projects such as these are essential more than ever in our current political and social climate.
Glasgow based Spirit of Revolt (www.spiritofrevolt.info) is an archive collection of contemporary and historical artefacts relating to working class lives, struggles, histories and achievements. The purpose of the Radical Imagination Project (www.radicalimagination.co.uk), is to look at not so much what is wrong, but what is right, asking how do we connect our diverse projects to form a vision towards institutional change? How do we build a movement around some basic uncontroversial ideas, that ordinary people would want to join? The Unity Centre (www.unitycentreglasgow.org) gives practical support and solidarity to all asylum seekers and other migrants in Scotland. They also support anyone detained in any UK Detention Centres. Glasgow Autonomous Space (GAS) (www.glasgowautonomous.weebly.com) is currently under construction but it aims to be a non-hierarchical, not-for-profit, safe-space for groups struggling against capitalism and other forms of oppression! Castlemilk Against Austerity (CAA), organises and mobilises our community in the fight against the unfair system. Helping people to unite and become the one voice to challenge social inequality. And from the east coast comrades and friends from the Autonomous Centre Edinburgh (ACE) (www.autonomous.org.uk) will discuss how through initiatives such as the Scottish Radical Library (www.srl.autonomous.org.uk), Counter-info Lab and the column Tribe of Moles they have sought to re-establish links between social and cultural reproduction, theory and practice. Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty (www.edinburghagainstpoverty.org.uk) brings together people on benefits and low wages - they fight peoples’ cases and collectively resist austerity, benefit cuts and workfare, aiming towards creating an anti-capitalist counterpower. Edinburgh-Chiapas Solidarity Group (www.edinchiapas.org.uk) supports the indigenous Zapatistas by raising awareness of their struggle for autonomy, by practical and financial solidarity and by protesting Mexican government repression.
Camcorder Guerillas and Open Jar Collective are hosting a film and spice-bag making evening to support Calais Kitchens. There are currently over 9,000 people living in the Calais refugee camp. Representing eleven nationalities including Sudan, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Egypt, Iran and Iraq. People are here for different reasons and many are fleeing war and conflict in their home countries. Calais Kitchens enables people to cook for themselves by distributing food and firewood to every home in the refugee camp once a week - the aim is to ensure all people in the camp have access to food in a way which upholds dignity and respect. We will be spending a few hours watching films about the current refugee situation while making up as many spice bags as we can manage. Calias Kitchen will put one spice bag in every food parcel that they send out, making a huge difference to the meals people in camp can prepare. This initiative should save the Calais Kitchen team a whole lot of time and money, and it’s an opportunity to bring some of your love and care to the Calais Kitchens table.
Over the 2016 May Day bank holiday weekend, Glasgow hosted the 2016 Radical Film Network Festival and Unconference. Almost 2000 people attended screenings and events across the city, which presented an alternative to the mainstream – both in terms of the films on offer and in the manner that they were presented. This 25 minute documentary presents an audio-visual record of the event and combines original footage shot over the weekend with clips from a number of the films screened. The screening will be followed by a discussion about alternative film culture in Scotland led by one of the festival organisers, David Archibald.
In September 2014 Mexican students from the ‘Raúl Isidro Burgos’ Teacher Training School in Ayotzinapa were attacked by the police in Iguala, Guerrero. 6 people, 3 of them students, were murdered and 43 students forcibly disappeared. Scottish artist and filmmaker, Jan Nimmo, once a regular visitor to Mexico, had travelled through Guerrero to meet local artisans and was devastated to hear of the attack. As an act of solidarity, she embarked on a series of 49 portraits. Her aim was to highlight the fact that Mexico's disappeared people (28,000+ since 2007) are not just statistics. Each disappearance is a tragedy.
Like any human act, birth and all that goes before and after it, exists only in the social context it takes place in. In this much contested sphere of reproductive labour, birth can be the eye of the storm. Join Alana Apfel, author of Birth Work as Care Work to discuss the medicalisation of birth and the politics of control of the female body and the movement of women reclaiming knowledge and collective control over our bodies.
Join Richard Parry and discover the story of the infamous Bonnot Gang: the most notorious French anarchists ever, and as bank expropriators the inventors of the motorized “getaway.” It is the story of how the anarchist taste for illegality developed into illegalism—the theory that theft is liberating in itself. And how a number of young anarchists met in Paris in the years before the First World War, determined to live their lives to the full, regardless of the consequences.
Why bother with rules when non-dominating processes support anarchist organising? We think that rules can help anarchists, to decide why some processes are better than others, to be clear about the way we want to live and how we want to interact with others. We’ll be discussing:
(i) what principles anarchists do/should advocate.
(ii) how, if at all, these principles support the generation of rules.
(iii) how, if at all, the idea of anarchy helps give content to rules (what’s distinctive about the rules anarchists make?).
(iv) what rules anarchists can agree to, to help resolve disputes.
Is Scottish nationalism progressive and different from other nationalisms? Can meaningful change for the working class come out of Scottish Independence? Is Rosa Luxemburg's analysis still valid that ending imperialism via national liberation struggles is impossible within global capitalism? In the absence of a leftwing alternative, is the SNP capitalising on working class frustration? AFed argue that electoral politics and nationalism are used to divide the working class, poison radical politics, and secure the position of the ruling class. Instead we propose internationalism, solidarity and grass-roots community and workplace organising. The working class has no borders!
Anarchists are sadly all too used to it – people proclaiming anarchist organisation an oxymoron. Yet anarchists have spent a lot of time both discussing organisation, not least the differences between libertarian and authoritarian kinds, and building them. This is no contradiction – for organisation has been an inherent part of anarchism from the start. Join us as we explore the history of anarchism, its ideas on association and its vision of a social organisation without a state and, just as importantly, bosses, husbands, and other private hierarchies.
Segments from the 1979 film, The Wobblies, and several short videos produced by Industrial Workers of the World here and in the US, will introduce viewers to the revolutionary principles of industrial organising, show what the IWW are doing now, and the continuity of their union organising and social justice campaigning over the past 115 years. Central to all these efforts is the belief in the ability and necessity for worker self-organisation and worker and community control, from the grassroots up, for our immediate needs and longterm goals for equality and justice within and across borders.
The formal rejection of, and refusal to participate in, state elections has been regarded as a core feature distinguishing anarchism from other socialist groupings. Looking at contemporary and classical anarchist positions this talk and discussion draws out many of the core criticisms of parliamentary representationalism that have come to define anarchism’s general rejection of electoral politics, showing how electoral politics recreates class hierarchies and inadequately identifies the locations of – and responses to – oppressive power. However, there have been a number of occasions in the UK, Ireland and Australia where anarchists have participated in constitutional politics: from standing as candidates in elections, from participating in referendums. This event explores the differences in and between various electoral strategies adopted by anarchists and assesses the ways in which constitutionally-entwined anarchists use electoralism to parody and undermine state democratic legitimacy.
Based on extensive archival research, The Wobblies in Their Heyday looks at the union during the World War I era when it was able to organize militant strikes that drastically curtailed production in key industries, copper mining and lumber. It also looks at the debates within the union on how to build a broadly based movement to oppose the war. The book also details the coordinated campaign of repression launched by the administration of President Woodrow Wilson with the intention of crushing the Wobblies.
"Chester has established a new watermark for historical understanding of the IWW."
"Chester's description of the anti-subversive crusade by federal authorities during World War I and their linking of domestic radicals with violence or terrorism proves yet again how government uses its legal authority to crush and punish dissenters and mavericks."
____Prof. Melvyn Dubofsky
Author, We Shall Be All
Other books: Covert Network Rag-Tags, Scum, Riff-Raff and Commies, The U.S. Intervention in the Dominican Republic, 1965-66 (1995) and True Mission: The Labor Party Question (2004).
Document film festival returns for its fourteenth edition over an extended weekend of screenings, discussions, workshops and events. From the depths of a Mongolian coalmine, to the sweat-flecked floor of Harlem’s Rockland Palace and the boulevards of nineteenth century Paris, Document examines a broad spectrum of contemporary subjects from labour conditions and the economy to gender politics and global conflict. In what has been a seismic year of uncertainty and tumult, Document seeks out human stories at the heart of global struggle that reflect the transformative potential of collective action. Join Document in the RiB space over these two days for some possible late programmed events or just hang out with like minded folk!
A Camcorder Guerilla’s video installation and discussion on themes of detention and destitution of Asylum Seekers.This installation takes us inside the Glasgow night shelter for asylum seekers, as well as outside Scotland’s detention centre, Dungavel, while we hear personal testimonies of detention and sleeping rough. Followed by a discussion, which will include contributions from asylum seekers and people who support them.
The Paris climate talks in December 2015 were a con. Despite agreeing a commitment to keep global warming to 1.5°C, the actual plans set forward by governments point to warming of between 2.4°C and 3.7°C – which will mean disaster for the planet.
But the Paris talks also signalled an important change in the climate movement as thousands of activists gathered from all over the world to organise global action. The days of lobbying governments are over; now the movement is being led by frontline working class, indigenous and peasant communities, who are taking militant direct action against extreme fossil fuel projects, and campaigning for a just transition to renewable energies which would create millions of jobs worldwide.
This film gives you a chance to hear frontline voices from all over the world, and how the battles against climate change, militarism, war and austerity are increasingly becoming one struggle.
Veterans for Peace is one of the most rapidly increasing social movements in Britain at the moment, going from just a handful of people a few years ago to now over 450 veterans of every war the UK has been involved in over the past 70 years, from the second world war to Iraq and Afghanistan. Their experience has shown them that war is futile, and has no place in the 21st century.
We’ll be showing a few short films of VfP taking action on Remembrance Day, in front of Parliament, and taking a historic delegation of ex-soldiers who served in Northern Ireland to meet ex-IRA volunteers.
Reel News puts videos out every week of the most important campaigns and disputes, so we’ll also be showing a film of whatever is happening at the end of October.
Activists will be present from A Million Climate Jobs Campaign, Veterans for Peace and anti-austerity campaigns to facilitate the discussion
There’s always a bit of a worry something's being lost. Amazing and terrible things happen and are forgotten. This evolving project looks at bringing things to light and engaging in interesting ways. On why its worth putting a cinema in a boat up a hill or doing screenings in a refugee camp. Information isn't neutral and neither are we. With a sneaky peek of what is next for the archive.
Tom Leonard’s poetry collection 1965-2009 Outside the Narrative and his prose essays critical and political Definite Articles are published by Etruscan / WordPower. His recent translation of Brechts Mother Courage and her Children is published by Smokestack Books. Leonard's intro to his translation states: “‘This war will never go away’ is the last line of the play; at present the war is called “The War on Terror”. The place and time of the play's occurrence is the place and time in which the drama, and this endless war—on stage and yet outside the theatre—presently occurs.”
Extracted from a substantial archive of artwork and related materials from the last twenty five years, this presentation will highlight a number of examples of work, their placement within a social and historical context and promote the idea that visual art can be purposeful and worthwhile without compromising aesthetics or a personal visual identity. Samples of work shown will include designs for badges, stickers, t-shirts, banners, postcards, prints, flyers, posters, magazine and book covers related to various actions, events, screenings, bookfairs, discussions, talks and publications, as well as some of their interlinked counterparts created as standalone artworks for ‘gallery’ based exhibitions.