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Bristol Radical History Week 2007
Witches, Pirates & Smugglers

The Usual Suspects

This year Bristol Radical History Group turns its single beady eye onto these icons of the past, so deeply reviled by the rulers of their time. Who were these 'outcasts'? Why are we so fascinated by them? Do their villainous representations carry clues to their real nature?

The week kicks off with two days (Sunday 28th and Monday 29th) devoted to the enemies of Customs and Excise, the Smugglers. Local historians Jim McNeil, Kev Davis and Dr. Dave Cullum will span the West Country from Gloucester, via Dorset to Cornwall telling stories of wrecking, smuggling and the customary rights of the sea commons. Dr. Trevor Bark brings the story up to date with an investigation of tobacco and alcohol smuggling and the black economy and Roger Ball considers the looting of the cargo of the MSC Napoli at Branscombe Bay earlier this year.

We shamelessly hijack Halloween week with a study of demonology and the repression of Witches on Tuesday 30th and Wednesday 31st. Dr. Jonathan Barry examines why 18th C. radicals in Somerset wrote demonological texts to attack the establishment of Church and State (and paid for it with their lives in the Monmouth rebellion). We are delighted to have Sylvia Federici making her first appearance at the History Week. She analyses the witch trials in the 16th and 17th centuries and their connection to control of reproduction, enclosure, the mechanisation of the body and modern day witch-hunts in Africa.

Anne Bonny & Mary Read

The week finishes (Saturday 3rd) with a celebration of Bristol’s finest, the Pirates. Professor Marcus Rediker explains how these ‘villains of all nations’ began as brutalised common seamen, turned pirate and created a multicultural, democratic and egalitarian society under the ‘Jolly Roger’. After last years excellent talk on mutinies, we are very happy to have Niklas Frykman back with a study of the links between piracy and smuggling.

We hope to end the week with a voyage round the Bristol docks with skipper Mark Steeds and his cider swilling Surfin’ Turnip crew.

And there’s films….Paul Tickell presents his excellent Part 1 of the BBC documentary series ‘The History of Race’ (Thursday 1st) and David Olusoga introduces his film ‘Namibia: Genocide and the Second Reich’ a uncovering of German colonial destruction in Africa (Tuesday 6th). We celebrate the wreckers with Ealing classic Whiskey Galore! (Monday 29th) and don’tmiss our opening night "Merry Hell!: From Jolly Roger To Old Roger" (Saturday 27th).

Date Time Form Title Notes Venue
Sat. 27th Oct. 7:30pm Film Merry Hell!:
From Jolly Roger To Old Roger
Films and improvised music from The Cube Orchestra The Cube
Sun. 28th Oct. 3:00 pm Lec. Smugglers 1:
Custom Becomes Crime
With Trevor Bark, Jim McNeill, Roger Ball Spyglass
Mon. 29th Oct. 7:30 pm F/L Smugglers 2:
The West Country & Whisky Galore
With Kevin Davis, Dave Cullum The Cube
Tue. 30th Oct. 7:30 pm Lec. Witches 1:
The Politics Of Pandaemonium
With Jonathan Barry Spyglass
Tue. 30th Oct. 2:00 pm View Opening The Archives Original source material from the Referance Library's Archives. Bristol Central Library
Wed. 31st Oct. 7:30 pm Lec. Witches 2:
Witch Hunting & Capitalism
With Silvia Federici Spyglass
Thu. 1st Nov. 7:30 pm F/L Meet The Director -
Paul Tickell
Part 1 of the BBC documentary Racism: A History The Cube
Fri. 2nd Nov. 4:00 pm WS Witches 3:
The Body & Labour Power
A workshop with Silvia Federici Spyglass
Sat. 3rd Nov. 11:00am/
Walk Going Underground A guided tour of Redcliffe Caves
Sat. 3rd Nov. 2:00 pm Lec. Pirates:
Piracy & Smuggling
With Marcus Rediker, Niklas Frykman Spyglass
Sat. 3rd Nov 3:00pm Kids Salty Tales - Story Telling With Jess Paul and Martin Maudsley Spyglass
Sat. 3rd Nov. 6:00 pm/
7:00 pm
Soc. The Pirate Boat Party
& Shanties An' Skulduggery
A guided tour of the harbour with the Surfin' Turnips
Sun. 4th Nov.* 3:00 pm Lec. The Floating Dungeon:
A History Of The Slave Ship
With Marcus Rediker Empire & C'wealth Msm.
Sun. 4th Nov.* 3:00 pm Lec. Why Remember?
The Slave Trade, Slavery & Abolition
With Catherine Hall Braodmead Baptist Church
Tue. 6th Nov. 7:30 pm F/L Meet The Director -
David Olusoga
Namibia: Genocide And The Second Reich The Cube

Lec. = Lecture; Empire & C'wealth; WS = Workshop; Msm = The Empire And Commonwealth Museum; F/L = Film & Lecture; View = Public viewing of original source material; Soc. = Social event.

*While we recommend these events they are not organised by Bristol Radical History Group.

BRHW 2007 Poster

These Posters are available to download (right click and "save link as" - Firefox or "save target as" - explorer)

BRHW 2007 Programme

Programme Cover

BRHW 2007 Programme

Programme Inner

This programme is available to download as a single file (right click and "save link as" - Firefox or "save target as" - explorer):

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