Anarchist fair aims to promote social justice

The sixth annual Victoria Anarchist Bookfair is bringing together more than 40 booksellers, presses, zine makers and artists from all over North America

Victoria, get ready for some anarchy. The sixth annual Victoria Anarchist Bookfair is bringing together more than 40 booksellers, presses, zine makers and artists from all over North America and abroad, as well as affiliate groups Camas Books and Infoshop, the Victoria Anarchist Reading Circle, Solstice Café, Black Raven Records, UVic Anarchist Archive, Victoria Street Newz, Food Not Bombs, and Radio CHLY Nanaimo to raise awareness about anarchism and social justice while celebrating the values of autonomy, mutual aid, community and solidarity.

Held Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 9 and 10 at the Fernwood NRG Community Hall (1240 Gladstone), the Bookfair aims to network, highlight and aid struggles, both local and international.

“We strive to promote anarchist ideas through workshops, cultural activities and the bookfair itself. We have a sprit of openness towards different anarchist traditions, visions and practices,” according to the Victoria Anarchist Bookfair Collective’s statement of principles. “Our aims are threefold: we seek to introduce anarchism to the pubic, to further elaborate upon current and historical anarchist ideals and to foster dialogue between various anarchist tendencies.”

The book fair is the last event in the week-long Festival of Anarchy, which began Sept. 3 with a Skillshare workshop and urban capture the flag. Summit Story Night on Wednesday, Sept. 7, featured a night of impromptu story, poetry and musical performances, beginning at 10 p.m. at the end of Summit Ave.

Attendees can also write poems or letters to prisoners at Camas Bookshop, Thursday, Sept. 8, from 2 p.m. Or catch a  screening of If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front by donation at Camas at 7 p.m. Followed by a spoken word showcase at 10:30 p.m.

Friday’s events include a Rapid Consensus Decision-Making Workshop and Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Reading with anarchist fiction writer Margaret Killjoy at Camas (4 p.m.) followed by a screening of Capitalism is the Crisis with director Michael Truscello at 7:30 p.m.

The book fair kicks off Saturday at 11 a.m. with free workshops running all day, plus Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There are two music nights planned for the weekend. Saturday boasts the Anarchist punk show at Little Fernwood hall. This all ages, no booze show starts at 8 p.m. and features Ahna, Violent Nun, Skoria, Iskra and more.

Solstice Café is hosting Acoustic Anarchy on Sunday at 6 p.m. featuring Star, Fraea & Jodi, Mike XVX, Xtrue NatureX, Jeff Andrew, Zac V and Testament. Admission is on a sliding scale, $5 to $15.

The fair offers free food from Food not Bombs and the AnarKIDS family space — a dedicated space where kids can play, read, take a nap or meet kids from other like-minded families. There will be books, co-operative board games, toys, face paints, craft and art supplies and space to run around and play. Childminding is available as well.

Admission to the fair is free, but the collective is accepting donations. Also check out the Art of Resistance exhibition at the Cornerstone Cafe.

“People might hear the word anarchist and expect to see people dressed in black ready to protest anything,” says Serina Zapf, Bookfair Collective member. “Both the Festival of Anarchy and the book fair contribute a lot to the community. It’s a great opportunity to learn about anarchy and other community initiatives.

“I think it’s really important to have spaces just to bring people together; accessible spaces, spaces that are anti-colonial. We work really hard to make sure it’s comfortable and accessible for as many people as possible, and it’s a space for us all to learn together. It’s important that we have spaces that are open to that kind of thing and diverse ideas. Being able to work through different perspectives as a community only strengthens us and I think in the face of the times that we’re facing with hard economic times and continued alienation, having things like this just really strengthens people.” M

For a complete list of events and bookfair workshop descriptions, visit victorianarachistbookfair.ca.

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