The centenary of the end of WW1 in 1918 will be widely commemorated across the country on Remembrance Sunday this year. However, the military style parades and ceremonies send a mixed message. On the one hand they are a moving display of mourning for the dead. On the other they tend towards a celebration of British military virtues, the heroic defeat of Germany and recent claims that WW1 was a 'just' or 'necessary' war. The popular memory in the UK of an allied 'victory' in 1918 leaves many […]
As the second Bristol Radical History Festival rapidly approaches, it is also worth doing a shout out for several other 1968 events happening in the coming weeks. Remember-Discover-Research-Critique-Celebrate-Commemorate-Repeat and Exceed the <événements> of May 1968! Here’s a quick round-up, but there will be others. National and international events (Tuesday 1st May 2018 onwards) Film screenings: ‘1968 Festival. A festival inspired by ‘1968’ and organised by the Radical Film […]
We are very pleased to be hosting an exhibition of political posters from the 1968 movements created our friends at the Interference Archive in New York. From the Atelier Populaire (print collectives) of France’s insurgent 1968 to the radical posters of the Prague Spring and the university occupations in the United States and Mexico City. This exhibition is an an entry point into the cultural production of the global '68 moment and its continued influence on politics, art, and design today.
In Russia in October 1917 the Bolsheviks could rule only in coalition with LEFT SOCIALIST REVOLUTIONARIES who's charismatic leader MARIA SPIRIDONOVA was the equal of Lenin. Till April 1918 they maintained a fragile alliance but by June an uprising was inevitable and the outcome uncertain. SPIRIDONOVA maps those few months as tension grows and the divide between Leninism and a more libertarian socialism becomes starker........and fixed in history. Spiridonova is awash with assassins, plotters, […]
Members of Plan C, who have just returned from volunteering on civil projects in Rojava (the Democratic Confederation of Northern Syria) will be reporting back on Rojava and the wider Kurdish movement. The revolution is based on direct democracy, gender equality and ecology, and seeks to create a solidarity economy. How can we in the West learn from what is happening and offer our solidarity? Followed by question and answer session. We will also be screening some short films in tribute to Mehmet […]
My talk will draw on my father’s remarkable life in Germany up till 1933. I will use it to illustrate how the Nazis first built on the defeat of the 1918/19 Bavarian workers (and sailors) uprising, a consequence of the war, by the viciously anti-Communist Freikorps. My father, having observed the early Nazis and more aware than many on the left of how dangerous they were, was later deeply involved in the almost forgotten resistance to the Nazis pre-1933. He was active in a number of […]
The German revolution of 1918-20 and its violent suppression is a little known event in the British popular memory. Where it is described the narrative typically commences with the mutiny of sailors from the German High Seas fleet over the first few days of November 1918. However, the numerous actions against the continuation of the war by hundreds of thousands of German soldiers on the western front during the preceding summer, have only been recently exposed by the work of historian Nick […]
A Tribute to Heathcote Williams, public historian of great English insurrections: excerpts from ‘The Red Dagger’ and ‘The Invisible Captain Swing'. Poetry recited by Ciaran Walsh.
This article was recently published in the excellent Chartism online magazine and is the result of a collaboration between BRHG and David Osmond, Ray Stroud, Peter Strong, Les James, historians from Newport and Cardiff. Our thanks to Les James for authoring the piece and allowing us to reproduce it. Members from the Bristol Radical History Group (BRHG) brought their bookstall to the 2016 Newport Chartist Convention held at the John Frost School. Di Parkin, Roger Ball, Maureen Ball, Steve Mills […]
Eds. G Dawson, Jo Dover and Stephen Hopkins. MUP Nov 2016. This ground-breaking book provides the first comprehensive investigation of the history and memory of the Northern Ireland Troubles in Britain. It examines the impacts of the conflict upon individual lives, political and social relationships, communities and culture in Britain, and explores how the people of Britain (including its Irish communities) have responded to, and engaged with the conflict, in the context of contested political […]