Monday, October 6, 2014

History From Below network (International) Conference

The international History From Below network is a diverse community of historytellers, historical agitators, artists, independent archivists, history groups, political archaeologists etc. It was founded 2012 in Barcelona to reflect a growing worldwide movement of historical activism and public interest in radical history, and to build an alternative, non-academic resource for the production and transmission of oppositional forms of history. As radical history becomes increasingly popular, more and more activists – from squatters and footballers to curators and birdwatchers – are making the transition to historians, merging past struggles, new technology and street culture to build new and surprising narratives.

You can view their website here:

Bristol Radical History Group (BRHG) are hosting the 2014 meeting of the international History From Below (HFB) network and would like to invite you to attend. This is the format of the HFB weekend meetings:

History From Below Network Conference 2014, Bristol, UK

Date: Saturday November 1st - Sunday November 2nd 2014

Venues:   Saturday: Hydra Bookshop, 34 Old Market St, Bristol, BS2 0EZ (see
                 Sunday: Friends Meeting House, Champion Square, Bristol BS2 9DB (just round the corner from the Hydra Bookshop)

Draft Programme

Saturday November 1st: History From Below network meeting (Hydra Bookshop)

11.00pm - 5.00pm This will be open to delegates from HFB groups and groups who may want to join the network. Agenda to follow.

Sunday November 2nd: History From Below: Remembering the Real World War 1 (public day)

We are putting a call out to all HFB groups for presentations/performances concerning some aspect of history of the WW1 period (1914-1921) to be delivered to a public audience on Sunday. They can be as short as 5mins or as long as 30mins and can involve PPT, video, audio, graphics etc. This is an exciting opportunity for us and the public to derive an international angle to the history of WW1. Please could you supply to BRHG a title and short abstract (maximum of 100 words) so we can add to the publicity.

So far we have...
Jean Jaur├Ęs (1914-2014) (Mario van Driessche, Ghent, Belgium)
Boden 1917: Why did you shoot your own officer? (Peter Box, Sweden)
‘Pistolerismo’: Barcelona during WW1 (Mariano Maturana, Barcelona, Spain)
The Christmas Truces 1914-15: Miracle, myth or mass mutiny? (Roger Ball, Bristol, UK)
Resistance to World War 1 in East London (David Rosenberg, London, UK)
No Glory in War Manchester - Alternative Ways of Marking the World War I Centenary (Ian Gwinn, Manchester, UK)

Travel Arrangements
Hydra Bookshop (Sat) and the Friends Meeting House (Sun) are both in central Bristol, five mins walk from each other and ten minutes walk from the Central Bus/Coach Station and Bristol Temple Meads train station.

We have limited private accomodation, so please let us know if you need help with this as soon as you can. BRHG can also help with finding cheap accomodation.

Please let BRHG know if you are coming to the conference and how many of your group will be participating. Any queries should be addressed to BRHG (

BRHG are combining the weekend conference with a week or so of events in Bristol in early November entitled Remembering the Real World War 1 which will include history talks, films, gigs and other events. Full details of these events are here (and here):

Three weeks of talks, films and art uncovering hidden histories of resistance to the ‘Great War’ in Bristol and beyond. From deserters, conchies and pacifists to rebel miners, radical trade unionists and reds. Featuring Adam Hochschild, Sheila Rowbotham, Gee Vaucher and Dominic Rai. Full details including times & venues can be found by following the links to our website. For more information email
Thursday 23rd October – internationally renowned author & historian Adam Hochschild* talks about ‘1914-1918: The War within the War’

Tuesday 28th October – the Campaign Against the Arms Trade’s Arming All Sides project presents ‘World War One: Arming All Sides‘.

Thursday 30th October – explore Bristol’s cultural links to WW1 through the eyes of asylum seekers and refugees in ‘Echoes of the ‘Great War’: Imperialism, displacement and migration‘. Full details here.

Sunday 2nd November – delegates to the international History From Below Network conference will present ‘Hidden histories of World War One‘ from across the globe. Also Gee Vaucher of CRASS will be discussing her anti-war art which wil be on display.

Tuesday 4th November – hear Sheila Rowbotham talk about Alice Wheeldon who was framed and imprisoned for opposing the war and June Hannam talk about Bristol women who campaigned against the war in ‘Women Resisting the Great War‘.

Wednesday 5th November – come down to the Central Reference Library for ‘Opening the Archives: Resistance to World War One in Bristol‘. See primary sources relating to resistance and rea_ction during World War One. 

Thursday 6th November – hear the story of Alfred Jefferies, the Bristolian shot for desertion in November 1916, and how people in Bristol organised and campaigned against the war in ‘Deserters, Conchies and Reds: Bristolian Families in the Great War‘. 

Saturday 8th November– historian Kevin Morgan discusses trades union opposition to the war and Ian Wright explains how divergent attitudes to the war effected the Forest of Dean Miners’ Association in ‘Trade Unions and Resistance to the Great War‘. 

Wednesday November 12th – following on from David Olusoga‘s recent documentary, writer-director Dominic Rai brings to life the experiences of Indian soldiers in Flanders, popularised in the acclaimed novel Across the Black Waters by Mulk Raj Anand in ‘The World’s War: Forgotten Soldiers of Empire‘. 
* also appearing at  TUC Library at London Metropolitan University lunchtime talk:

To End All Wars: The Story of the First World War. A talk by Adam Hochschild

London Metropolitan University

Friday, 24 October 2014 from 13:00 to 14:00 (BST)

London, United Kingdom

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