Bristol Radical History Festival 2019

Bristol Radical History Group (BRHG) and the Remembering the Real World War I Group (RRWWI) have organised a full programme of events, in collaboration with our hosts at M Shed.
Again, we will reveal hidden histories, debate and agitate for a future of better pasts. The 2019 festival has two main themes:

  • 1919: Britain and Ireland in the ‘Year of Revolutions’
  • Green History: from 18th Century roots to Extinction Rebellion

The aftermath of the First World War was one of the most revolutionary moments in the Twentieth Century. Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, there were revolutions and uprisings across Europe, in Germany and Hungary, and beyond, in Egypt and Mexico. In Ireland, 1919 would witness the establishment of a separatist parliament in Dublin, an escalation of guerrilla warfare and the establishment of a ‘soviet’ in opposition to British rule. In Britain, these were tumultuous times as thousands of rebellious troops returned from the front-line demanding immediate demobilisation, whilst mass strikes broke out on the railways and amongst miners and engineers threatening a syndicalist takeover. We look at what happened, what was at stake and the legacy of the ‘Year of Revolutions’ in Bristol, Britain and Ireland.

Our second theme features the history of concern for the environment. We will cover more than two centuries from origins of ‘green’ awareness during the Romantic era through to first-hand accounts from those who took part in late-twentieth-century activism and Black2Nature, who campaign for inclusion and ethnic diversity in environmentalism. How can green history inform present-day debates during the resurgence of environmental concern on the part of Extinction Rebellion, Youth Strike 4 Climate and Earth Strike?

Following the success of the 2017 and 2018 events, this year’s Bristol Radical History Festival is again hosted by M Shed, Bristol’s social history museum located on the historic harbourside.

It’s not just talks! Expect walks, films, singing, a performance space with a puppet show, storytelling and poetry, and an exhibition space, as well as stalls with books and merchandise from local and national groups. Not to be missed – go up to Level 2 to see the Regional Radical Press exhibition, with highlights from UWE Bristol Regional History Centre’s current project  All the events are free with no booking required!

We are also thrilled to announce a tie-in event: ‘3 Acres and a Cow: A History of Land Rights in Folk Song and Story’. This will be hosted at Bristol’s Cube Microplex on the evening of Friday 25th October.


Active DistributionAnarchist Communist Group • Black Skin Black Flag • Bloom and Curll BookshopBristol Radical History GroupBristol TransformedFiducia/Long John Silver TrustHaymarket Books •  Just SeedsMayflower MavericksOur Chartist HeritagePast Tense  • RRWWI GroupTangent Books • Unite Community • Wessex SolidarityWest of England and South Wales Women’s History Network

Full Radical History Festival Programme

Download the programme as a pdf.
Date Time Location Title With
Film tie-in event: American Climate Rebels
Level 2 Regional Radical Press in Britain 1968-88 exhibition Steve Poole

Level 1, Studio 2 Green Romanticism Stephen E. Hunt

Level 1, Studio 1 Wild scenes at Cardiff Mike Pearson

Level 2 Film screenings on 1919

History walk 1: Wulfstan to Colston and the sinews of slavery Mark Steeds

Level 1, Performance space The draining of the mere Otherstory

Level 1, Studio 2 Black2Nature’s Mya-Rose Craig on the conservation sector: its foundations and its racism Mya-Rose Craig

Level 1, Studio 1 “With all the resources at the disposal of the State” Philip Kuhn
Level 2 Talk on Regional Radical Press in Britain 1968-88 exhibition Steve Poole

Level 1, Performance Space How do you articulate a working class political consciousness in the context of 1919? Graham Bottrill

Level 1, Studio 2 Ecology from below Leonard Baker

Level 1, Studio 1 Ireland in 1919 Joe Mooney,
Dee Daley,
Nick Heath

Level 2 Film screening: Who Bombed Judi Bari?

Level 1, Performance space A people’s history of poetry Peter Bearder aka Peter the Temp

Level 1, Studio 2 Environmental activism in the 1980s and 1990s
Level 2 (Repeat) Talk on Regional Radical Press in Britain 1968-88 exhibition Steve Poole

Level 1, Studio 1 Bridport 1919 Karen Hunt

Level 2 Film screening: Reclaim The Streets: The Film

Level 1, Studio 2 Back to the land Kath Holden

Ground Floor Red Notes Choir performance

[Cancelled] History walk 2: Romantic, Radical and…Reactionary Molly Conisbee

Level 1, Performance space Roots of Resistance: Earth First! Otherstory

Level 1, Studio 1 Strikes and riots Roger Ball,
Neil Gordon-Orr

Level 2 Film screenings on 1919

Level 1, Studio 2 Reflections on Radical Technology in the 1970s Peter Harper

3 Acres and a Cow: A history of land rights and protest in folk song Katherine Hallewell,
Robin Grey

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