IN-STORE EVENTS – THEME: ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS
1. (book launch/talk) ‘The NHS is 60: undervalued, underfunded and undermined’
2. (talk) ‘How local authorities are investing in unscrupulous corporations’
3. (talk/book event) ‘How to Live Off-Grid’ with Nick Rosen
4. (talk/book event) ‘Dancing in the No-fly Zone’ with Hadani Ditmars
5. (film screening/talk) ‘The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived peak Oil’
6. (film screening/talk) ‘Producing Urban Order: Cleaning up King’s Cross’
7. (talk) Campaign against Climate Change – ‘Climate Camp and beyond…’
8. (talk/book event) ‘Live Working or Die Fighting’ with Paul Mason
9. (talk/book event) ‘Set into Song: the impact of the Radio Ballads’ with Peter Cox
10. (talk) ‘Why workers are the key to tackling climate change’ with Paul Hampton
11. Forthcoming events at Housmans in August –
12. How to Live a Low-carbon Life: The Individual’s Guide to Stopping Climate Change
IN-STORE EVENTS – ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS
This month’s events are looking at a variety of aspects of environmental politics, from a range of political perspectives. As ever, alongside our themed events we have a number of other guest speakers dropping in. Look out for Canadian-based journalist Hadani Ditmars’ harrowing account of the breakdown of civil society in
, as explored in her book ‘Dancing in the No-fly Zone’. Also, Newsnight’s Paul Mason will be talking about the impact of syndicalism at the turn of the 19th century.
Refreshments are served at all events in Housmans Bookshop.
1. (book launch/talk)
‘The NHS is 60: undervalued, underfunded and undermined’, hosted by the Radical History Network
Wednesday 2nd July –
Guests from the Radical History Network will be discussing how, on its 60th birthday, the NHS remains undervalued, underfunded and undermined – and will be launching a booklet that looks critically at this history.
The booklet begins with historical analysis, looks at conflicts and strikes, examines other issues, and concludes with the current situation. The primary theme is that the libertarian idea of a locally controlled health service, freed of capitalist and state domination, is the way to secure a service that is responsive to the needs of the population.
‘How local authorities are investing in unscrupulous corporations’ hosted by the London Local Authorities Pension Campaign
Thursday 3rd July –
This talk will mark the launch of a new campaign that aims to disclose how local authorities are investing funds from our council taxes and pension schemes into some of the world’s most unscrupulous corporations – often without knowing it.
By collecting data through the Freedom of Information act, and networking with a range of anti-corporate and corporate accountability campaign groups and individuals, a picture has emerged in which local authorities are investing in companies that are raping the environment, profiting from war, and trampling over human rights. The campaign has received support from Corporate Watch, Campaign Against Arms Trade, Islington Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and FairPensions amongst others.
3. (talk/book event)
‘How to Live Off-Grid’ with Nick Rosen
Wednesday 9th July –
The word ‘off-grid’ refers to places or people without mains water, power or phone line. Off-grid locations can range from private islands to tree-houses; the people living there might be back-packers, international business travellers or hippies; they may move around in buses or yachts, houseboats or 4-wheel drives. All are outside or in between the criss-crossing lines of power, water and phone that delineate the civilised world. Some are trying to save the planet, some live that way because it is all they can afford, some just want the freedom.
Nick Rosen, author of How to Live Off-Grid’, a guide to avoiding the pitfalls and finding the best solutions for going off-grid yourself, will be talking about his experiences and exploring why the law needs to be changed to allow more people to live off-grid.
4. (talk/book event)
‘Dancing in the No-fly Zone’ with Hadani Ditmars
Saturday 12th July –
Hadani Ditmars’ best selling book ‘Dancing in the No Fly Zone’ (chosen by the Toronto Globe and Mail as one of 100 best and most influential books of 2005) recounts her time in Iraq from 1997 until the autumn of 2003, and is one of the few recent books on Iraq that covers pre- and post-invasion reality. In this evening’s talk Hadani will be exploring the devastating effect that this most recent invasion has had on civil and cultural life, not least in the domination of religion over secular life.
"‘Dancing in the No Fly Zone’ …touches places in the nation’s soul that horror headlines never reach." – Boyd Tonkin, literary critic of the London Independent
5. (film screening/talk)
‘The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived peak Oil’ hosted by the Cuba Solidarity Campaign
Wednesday 16th July –
collapsed in 1990,
‘s economy went into a tailspin. With imports of oil cut by more than half – and food by 80 percent – people were desperate. This film tells of the hardships and struggles as well as the community and creativity of the Cuban people during this difficult time. Cubans share how they transitioned from a highly mechanized, industrial agricultural system to one using organic methods of farming and local, urban gardens. It is an unusual look into the Cuban culture during this economic crisis, which they call ‘The Special Period.’ The film opens with a short history of Peak Oil, a term for the time in our history when world oil production will reach its all-time peak and begin to decline forever.
, the only country that has faced such a crisis – the massive reduction of fossil fuels – is an example of options and hope.
‘The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil’ is a project of The Community Solution, a non-profit organisation that designs and teaches low-energy solutions to the current unsustainable, fossil fuel-based, industrialised, and centralised way of living.
This screening is hosted by the Cuba Solidarity Campaign, who will be introducing the film and running a question and answer session afterwards.
The film runs at 53 mins, and is exempt from classification.
6. (film screening/talk)
‘Producing Urban Order: Cleaning up King’s Cross’
Saturday 19th July –
Inspired by the Foucauldian notion of Society of Control, MA students from the department of Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths College, have created a series of short films and pamphlets exploring King’s Cross as an area of urban transformation. Focusing on the role played by the new terminal of St Pancras International as a catalyst for urban development, their work draws upon an extensive archive of mapping, field work and theoretical engagement.
Through encounters with institutional and informal networks the group produces counter-cartographies, video interviews, visual documentation and a lexicon of key terms as tools to initiate critical debate on the local and global forces shaping the area.
This evening’s event will take the form of screening of three short films with room for discussion and comment throughout.
Campaign against Climate Change – ‘Climate Camp and beyond…’
Wednesday 23rd July – 7pm
The Campaign against Climate Change, based upstairs from Housmans at 5 Caledonian Road, has been central in mobilising the population of Britain to stand up against the lack of action being taken by business and government in tackling this potentially catastrophic issue. This evening a range of supporters from the campaign will be talking about the forthcoming Climate Camp, and looking forward to the future.
"We need to put climate change right at the top of the political agenda — it is by far the biggest threat to humanity. We have to turn this into the primary political campaign. That means keeping on the streets, keeping up the demonstrations and putting an enormous amount of pressure on our politicians." George Monbiot, Honorary President
8. (talk/book event)
‘Live Working or Die Fighting’ with Paul Mason
Saturday 26th July – 6 pm
We are delighted to welcome Newsnight’s Economics Editor Paul Mason, to talk about his book ‘Live Working or Die Fighting’, in which he compares the struggles of the global working classes of today, with those of the late 1800’s (the first time the working class went global). In this evening’s talk Paul will be focussing on the significance of syndicalism in those early formations of class solidarity.
9. (talk/book event) ‘Set into Song: the impact of the Radio Ballads’ with Peter Cox
Wednesday 30th June – 7pm
Peter Cox’s new book ‘Set Into Song – Ewan MacColl, Charles Parker, Peggy Seeger and the Radio Ballads’ tells the story of a remarkable collaboration, one which produced a groundbreaking series of eight hour-long radio programmes for the BBC. The first, The Ballad of John Axon, was originally broadcast on 2 July 1958, and this evenings event will be marking its 50th anniversary.
Uniquely, the programmes took the speech of working people, until then almost always voiced by actors, and allowed them to tell their own stories. They told them into the new ‘Midget’ mobile tape recorder wherever they lived and worked – in railway yards, on fishing vessels, down pits, on bulldozers, in Traveller encampments. Their stories were woven together by Ewan MacColl with songs that he wrote specially for the programmes, after listening intensely to the language and rhythms of the voices, and by the young Peggy Seeger, who designed the musical setting and directed the performers. The programmes were rehearsed and recorded under the overall direction of the visionary Birmingham radio producer Charles Parker, a pioneer of the new painstaking art of tape splicing.
The radio ballads were hugely influential on what became the folk revival movement, and broke ground in challenging the domination of ‘Queen’s English’ on the BBC. Peter Cox lovingly explores this subject in his new book, and in this evening’s talk he will be playing extracts from the ballads and recounting his research.
Listen to the original radio ballads here:
‘Why workers are the key to tackling climate change’ with Paul Hampton Saturday 2nd August – 6 pm
Paul Hampton from the Labour Research Department will be hosting an evening of discussion and debate that places socialism and workers’ control at the heart of the battle against environmental destruction. Issues such as a shorter working week, workers’ control, cheap or free public transport, public ownership of the energy and transport industries and the imposition of high standards of building regulation and minimum fuel consumption requirements on all cars and lorries, are but part of the programme of action being proposed.
11. Forthcoming events at Housmans in August – Latin America
In August Housmans turns its attention to Latin America. Confirmed so far:
Che in Verse – 6th August
Columbia Solidarity discussion – 13th August
Poetry from Jesse Glass and friends – 20th August
Screening of ‘Territorio Pacificado’ – 23rd August
Keep an eye on http://www.housmans.com/events for the latest events – we have lots more lined up, but many dates are still to be confirmed.
12. How to Live a Low-carbon Life: The Individual’s Guide to Stopping Climate Change by Chris Goodall
£14.99 (Earthscan Publications, 326 pp)
There are a whole range of great books looking at different aspects of climate change, but if you were to buy just one book we would recommend this one above all else. Practical, informative and inspiring, it is an indispensable text, which crucially manages to make the act of living a low-carbon life seem a relatively trouble-free possibility.
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