Quiet Revolutions: A Celebration of Radical Bookshops, Sat 26 Nov 2022, Barbican Library

Join us as we host a book fair, discussions and workshops exploring the legacies and futures of radical bookselling.

Radical bookshops, once found in every major town and city, are spaces of possibility and resistance, offering quiet browsing, public discussions and encounters between writers, readers and activists.

Quiet Revolutions will see the Barbican Library host a bookfair with stalls from Britain’s best-known radical bookshops including HousmansNew Beacon BooksGay’s The WordFive Leaves and Newham Bookshop along with radical publishers and organisations Verso and Bishopsgate Institute.

Two panel discussions will include addresses and interventions on activism and books from historians and writers such as Sheila Rowbotham and Farrukh Dhondy along with key figures from the radical book world of the 1970s and 80s such as Ken Worpole of Centerprise and Jane Cholmeley of Silver Moon.

Programme details below.


Quiet Revolutions is curated by Rosa Schling from On The Record and the Alliance of Radical Booksellers. 

Part of The Edge of the Centre, our series inviting artists and cultural workers working around the periphery of the Barbican to programme events in our spaces.

Partnered with The Alliance of Radical Booksellers & Verso.

Photographs of Centerprise and Sisterwrite (c) Rio Cinema Archive.

Photograph of Lynn Alderson at Sisterwrite, courtesy of Lynn Alderson.

Check dates & book 

Quiet Revolutions Programme:

Bookfair: 10am-4pm, Barbican Library

12–2pm – Lino Printing Workshop
Explore how to make a linocut print from start to finish using the history of radical book covers. Led by Gemma Curtis @wildwaterartstore

2-3pm – Talk: Radical Bookshops Present, Barbican Library
Jim MacSweeney (Gay’s the Word)
Vivian Archer (Newham Bookshop)
Nik Górecki (Housmans)
Meera Ghanshamdas (Roundtable Books)
Ray Larman (The Bookish Type)
Ross Bradshaw (Mushroom Books/Five Leaves)

5-6.30pm, Talk: Radical Bookshops Past, Auditorium I
Ken Worpole (Chair)
Sheila Rowbotham (Historian)
Farrukh Dhondy (Writer & Race Today Collective),
Jane Cholmeley (Silver Moon)
Lynn Alderson (Sisterwrite)
Michael La Rose (New Beacon)

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