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.

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 Title Details With Link
, 2007 Merry Hell A singular conflagration of live music and moving pictures to launch Bristol Radical History Week into fair winds. The Cube Orchestra will accompany exceptional films with improvised scores. Pirates […]
, 2007 Smugglers 1: Custom Becomes Crime Custom Becomes Crime, Crime Becomes Culture: The Sea Related Informal Economies From Feudalism To Capitalism - Trevor Bark Troublemaker and academic from the North East, Trevor is on the editorial […] Trevor Bark,
Jim McNeill,
Roger Ball
, 2007 Smugglers 2: The West Country Smugglers: Radicals Or Romantic - Kevin Davis Easton Cowboy and refugee from Dorset, Kevin claims to have left his life of wrecking and smuggling behind in his hometown of Poole. But who knows? […] Kevin Davis,
Dave Cullum
, 2007

Opening The Archives View original source material from the Reference Library's archives in the Bristol Room. Hosted by Dawn Dyer and Jane Bradley. (More details to follow.) Since there is limited space in the Bristol […] Dawn Dyer,
Jane Bradley
, 2007 Witches 1: The Politics Of Pandaemonium The Politics Of Pandaemonium - Jonathan Barry Head of School and Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Exeter. Jonathan lectures on provincial society and culture in England from 1500 to […] Jonathan Barry
, 2007 Witches 2: Witch Hunting & Capitalism Witch Hunting And Capitalist Development, Past And Present - Silvia Federici Long time feminist activist and teacher, Silvia is co-founder of the Committee for Academic Freedom in Africa and the RPA […] Silvia Federici
, 2007 Meet The Director: Paul Tickell Rasicm: A History: Part 1 The first part of Racism: A History was screened in March this year on BBC4. Partly filmed at Bristol Radical History week last year, the first of this excellent three part […] Paul Tickell
, 2007 Witches 3: The Body & Labour Power Workshop: The Body, Capitalist Accumulation And The Accumulation Of Labour Power - Silvia Federici Long time feminist activist and teacher, Silvia is co-founder of the Committee for Academic Freedom […] Silvia Federici
, 2007 Going Underground A rare opportunity to visit the subterranean wonders of Bristol's history. Two 1 hour tours begining at 11am and 12 pm. Children must be accompanied. Please bring a torch and wear sensible shoes.
, 2007 Pirates, Piracy & Smuggling The Real Pirates Of The Caribbean - Marcus Rediker Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh (USA) and the author of The Many Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners and the Hidden History […] Niklas Frykman,
Marcus Rediker
, 2007 Salty Tales Join Jess Paul and Martin Maudsley for stories about smugglers and pirates. AAAARRR! Kids (and adults) are weclome to come in fancy dress. Please can adults accompany children as this is event is not […] Jess Paul,
Martin Maudsley
, 2007 Pirate Boat Trip Tour the pirate landmarks of Bristol Harbour in the company of historian Mark Steeds and the cider-fuelled Surfin' Turnips. Each tour lasts one hour.
, 2007 Shanties And Skullduggery Music live from Who's Afear'd and they Turnips. While this even is free donations for the band will be asked for. Who's Afear'd,
Surfin' Turnips
, 2007 Meet The Director: David Olusoga Namibia: Genocide And The Second Reich "The ghosts of the Namibian genocide have been reawakened. They return to haunt liberal post-war Germany, and in doing so they force Germany to wake-up to a very […] David Olusoga
2007 programme - outside
2007 programme – outside
2007 programme - inside
2007 programme – inside
Bristol Radical History Week Poster 2007
Bristol Radical History Week Poster 2007

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