Thursday, July 19, 2007

History from Below in Kennington Park

As part of Alt.Space Festival 2007 Tom Roberts and Anthony Iles will meet in Kennington Park this Saturday to give a short talk and distribute the pamphlet: ‘All Knees and Elbows of Susceptibility and Refusal’ a collection of extracts and commentaries on the making of ‘history from below’:

"The phrase ‘history from below’ is the product of a group of French historians known as the Annales school. It is their description of an approach to subjects and areas previously considered historically unimportant. In England this approach was taken up by a group of Marxist historians who developed a set of methodologies and a worldview at odds with existing Marxist and historiographical orthodoxies. In 1946 a group consisting of E.P. Thompson, Christopher Hill, Roger Hilton and Dona Torr among others formed the Communist Party Historians Group. Their aim was to draw out forms of agency that had been hidden by traditional approaches to history. Along with Raphael Samuel, CLR James and Peter Linebaugh we take this loose grouping as the starting point for the making and study of history as a contested field in which ‘the below’ plays an active role.

Kennington Park has been the scene of radical debate, publishing and political organisation (public speaking, meetings, protests) as well as the enactment of the powers of the State (hangings, enclosure, policing). The pamphlet looks at the methodologies of the historians from below as they worked to change their own contemporary system of knowledge production in relation to the self-produced, self-distributed knowledge of their subjects."

Date: 3PM, 21st July, 2007. Meet: Oval Fountain, Kennington Park opposite Oval Tube station

A PDF version of the pamphlet is available for download here; More info and resources: More information on the history of Kennington Park can be found at Wikipedia and in Stefan Szczelkun’s Working Press pamphlet Birthplace of Peoples’ Democracy (RTF file).

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