Instead of celebrating 150 years of incorporation, the seventh-annual Victoria Anarchist Bookfair is celebrating “150 Years of Colonialism, 150 Years of Resistance.”
“The City of Victoria is celebrating 150 years and within their propaganda, they’re using the language of colonialism … We think it’s grotesque. It’s a celebration of genocide,” says Comrade Black, member of the Anarchist Bookfair Collective.
“We always put on a bookfair, but this time we’re centring it around anti-colonial resistance, the history of colonialism in B.C., resource extraction and the effects of colonialism today … We’re responding to the city’s celebration of genocide. We’re saying 150 years of colonialism and 150 years of resistance to it. Indigenous people never quit living here and they never quit fighting — they’re still fighting. ”
The Victoria Anarchist Bookfair welcomes more than 50 booksellers, presses, zine makers and artists from all over North America and abroad to a free, two-day, all-ages event at the Fernwood NRG Community Hall (1240 Gladstone).
The event also features 15 free workshops ranging in subject matter. Saturday’s workshops include: Basic Legal Workshop for People Engaged in Resistance Activities, Satanic Mills by Stefan Morales (Wayward School), Baby, I’m a Manarchist (with Lab Rat), Transcending Rights (with Mel Bazil), Too Cool for School: Learning Without School (for ages 10-18 with Matt Chirstie from The Underground Curriculum), Closed but Not Over: Understanding the Impacts of Residential School (with Sage Armitage), Decolonializing Medicine (With Ga Ching Kong), 150 Years of Colonialism, 150 Years of Resistance (With Gord Hill), The ASARO Collective in Mexico (with Kay and Mikhail from the Ministry of Casual Living) andThe True Story of Canada’s War with Extermination of the Pacific (with Tom Swanky).
Sunday’s workshops include: Indigenous and People of Colour Decolonization and Resistance Caucus (With Trish Pal. This all-day event is open to self-identified Indigenous and people of colour only), Activist Video Workshop (with Richard Boyce of MediaNet in conjunction with Activate documentary video production program), Report Back from the Unis’Tot’en Action Camp to Stop the Pipelines (with Zoe Blunt, who led the caravan to Wet’swet’en First Nation territory in northern B.C.), Understanding War in kkkanada and in kkkebec: Beyond the Student Strike (with Christian), and Social War Against Industrial Expansion (with BCBlackOut).
The bookfair also features the AnarKids family space with kids’ books, cooperative board games, toys, face paints, craft and art supplies.
There are a number of music, art and poetry events accompanying the bookfair (as part of the ongoing Festival of Anarchy), including the Anarchist Punk Show, Sat., Sept. 8 with ISKRA, AHNA, Azotobacter, Lab Rat and more (for more information call Black Raven Records at 250-590-1033). The Acoustic Anarchy Folk Show gives unplugged attacks against capitalism, Sun., Sept. 9 at Solstice Cafe (6:30pm, $5-15 sliding scale).
There will also be an evening of poetry featuring Victoria’s Poet Laureate Janet Marie Rogers, Gary Gottfriedson and Savage Fam, Fri. Sept. 7, 7pm at Camas Books (2590 Quadra) and a screening of the documentary Maximum Tolerated Dose (Thurs., Sept. 6 at Camas books, 7pm).
And don’t miss the 150 Years of Colonialism, 150 Years of Resistance Art Show, running until Sept. 15 at Solstice Cafe (529 Pandora). This exhibit of paintings, photographs, pen and ink drawings, prints and masks presents Indigenous perspectives that assert autonomy to challenge ongoing injustices. Contributing artists are Lindsay Delaronde, Margaret Briere, Janet Marie Rogers and Gord Hill.
The Victoria Anarchist Bookfair runs Sat., Sept. 8 from 11am to 6pm and Sun., Sept. 9 from 11am to 5pm at the Fernwood NRG Community Hall (1240 Gladstone).
Get the full schedule at victoriaanarchistbookfair.ca M