Welcome

The Seattle Anarchist Book Fair is an opportunity for old friends to come together, new connections be made, and for those new to anarchy to have an opportunity to engage with the many and varied perspectives of what has been called the Beautiful Idea.

While anarchists are often portrayed through our direct confrontations with the state and capitalism, a book fair allows a space where people have more of an opportunity to converse, exchange ideas and, hopefully, learn from each other.

Here we can find commonalities and intersecting goals, as well as further flesh out those places where our individual projects and desires diverge.

This year we will be commemorating the anti-WTO manifestations in Seattle 20 years ago.

Find our Frequently Asked Questions page here.

If you have a proposal for a workshop or talk contact us here.

If you would like to table at this year’s bookfair fill out the form here.

2019 Workshops

Saturday Nov. 30

10:30am – 12pm

Building an Escalation Campaign

Rarely do we find success through one-off actions or only responding to provocations from our foes. Drawing from experiences in labor and antifascist organizing, this workshop provides space to consider how we can take the initiative by crafting sustained campaigns to win individual demands or build broader and deeper movements. From winning workplace demands or getting fascists fired, to canceling private security contracts targeting homeless folks, many such campaigns have drawn attention and found success in our region in recent years.

The workshop begins with a short skillshare on tactics and winnability, utilizing a real-life campaign as an example, and concludes with an open discussion on how participants can incorporate these ideas into their own organizing or get new efforts off the ground.

The Sheer Terror of Holding on to Nothingness (Trace Fleeman y Garcia)

Annihilation and negation are incredibly powerful currents in Western theological & mystical thought. The so-called “last neoplatonist,” Damascius of Syria, developed perhaps the purest distillate of negation: apophasis, silence, that which is left after negatio negationis, negating the negation. Later mystical (and heretical) writers built upon the apophatic logic of the neoplatonists and developed a negative theology in which the self was annihilated so that the Spirit of God can indwell within a human subject, thus liberating them — as Galatians 5:18 states, “Those who are driven or led by the Spirit of God are no longer under the law.” Negation in anarchism, however, tends to take an incomplete form: in the “active” sense embodied by insurrection against power, and in the “passive” sense embodied in anarchy-as-lack-of-authority. The mystic, however, categorically rejects all binaries, and thus the Thing-beyond- language which the mystic seeks is neither passive nor active. The only thing to do is to sit and rest in the perfect unknowing of silence.

For the mystical-anarchist, anarchy is not an action or a practice, nor is it a theoretical organization of society. It is a cleaving off of the arkhe, which leaves an empty void at the heart of the subject, no longer dressed in the stable mask of the Ego which lends itself to symbolic control and domination. For the mystical-anarchist, it is impossible to talk about a “complete” anarchy because a “complete” anarchy is beyond the bounds of language, it terminates and negates itself and is left in silence. The hermit and the ascetic becomes the site of anarchy — anarchy as both as a practice in which the arkhe is negated; and the silent, absent lack at the center of being that is without it.

 

12:30pm – 2pm

Anarchy in the SF: A Panel on Speculative Fiction with Nisi Shawl

Building a better world is impossible without a blueprint. Coming from a variety of perspectives and taking on projects ranging through prison abolition, trans liberation, regime downfall and others, local speculative fiction writers share the ways they’re imagining anarchy into being. With discussion of past and present anarchist speculative fiction that inspires and challenges their works in progress.

Nisi Shawl, winner of the 2019 Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award, wrote the 2016 Nebula Award finalist Everfair, which is about an imaginary Fabian socialist Utopia in the Congo. PM Press has just released their story collection Talk Like a Man. With Cynthia Ward they co-wrote Writing the Other: A Practical Approach, the basis of several ongoing classes. They live in Seattle and take frequent walks with their cat.

Joanne Rixon is an organizer with the North Seattle Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Meetup, and she facilitates creative writing workshops for incarcerated youth at the juvenile jail in Tacoma with Write 253. Her short fiction has appeared in Liminal Stories, Fireside and Terraform.

Evan J. Peterson is the author of Drag Star! and The PrEP Diaries: A Safe(r) Sex Memoir. He is a Clarion West alum and editor of the Lambda Literary finalist Ghosts in Gaslight, Monsters in Steam: Gay City 5. His writing has also appeared in Weird Tales, Unspeakable Horror 2, Queers Destroy Horror, Boing Boing, and Best Gay Stories 2015.

J.G. Stewart writes fiction, music, and code, with varying degrees of success. His most recent novel explores themes of colonialism, history, identity, and airships, in an alternate British Raj. He is a graduate of Viable Paradise, Writing the Other, and the UW Certificate Program in Genre Fiction. He likes dogs.

Kristin King lives in Seattle and is working on a time travel novel. Her work has appeared in Strange Horizons, the Cascadia Subduction Zone, the Aqueduct Press anthology Missing Links and Secret Histories, and her short story collection Misfits from the Beehive State. She enjoys hiking, kayaking, and obsessing over Doctor Who, and in the future of her dreams she has already learned how to play a chromatic harmonica.

Navigating Anarchism in the Academy: Skills, Strategies, Emotions, and Destruction in Education (Bobbi and Eir)

Based on the collective feelings of anarchists in the academy and in educational spaces, this workshop will be an interactive conversation around the collective experiences of anarchists navigating institutional structures of work and education. This workshop will be a space for participants to share their tactics, strategies, and survival skills that are needed to resist institutional power, while also sharing our feelings of alienation, anger and futility in environments that center neoliberal agendas. Navigating our work may be a constant fight, and it is important to share ways in which we move around work while maintaining our ideology and passions. It will also be a conversation where anyone can share thoughts around work and education in relation to how we participate in resistance while never assisting the state. How do we “do anarchy” in historically destructive and violent institutions of education?

 

2pm – 3:30pm

WTO 20th Anniversary Panel

A panel discussion of the World Trade Organization (WTO) protests of 1999, colloquially known as the Battle of Seattle, 20 years later.

Updates on the Clallum Bay Prison Strike

No description received yet

 

Sunday Dec. 1

10:30am – 12pm

Indigenous Futurisms and Presents (Hexe)

A short presentation and creative exercise to illuminate the worlds of indigenous futurisms and the power and necessity of situating indigenous people in the vibrant present as active creators of our own Beautiful Ideas and how fiction, science fiction, speculative fiction and liberation work are interlinked.

Flip the Script: Film History, Deconstruction, and Production Workshop

Topics covered:

  1. A historical deconstruction of Hollywood’s white supremacist roots
  2. Principles and best praxis of media ethics
  3. How to produce independent social justice films on a dime
  4. Components of an anti-racist/anti-fascist story
  5. Anti-gentrification/anti-slumlord documentary filmmaking

 

1pm – 2pm

All Power to the People: Portable Electrical Supply and You

There are lots of reasons people planning events, actions, or projects need electricity in places that don’t have any. This presentation’s goal would be to make the steps for sourcing or supplying an appropriate power system and its safe operation clear and approachable, covering:

  • Determining power needs: terms, finding and understanding UL listing information, static vs peak load, required reserve capacity or generation, environmental constraints, load-in/out logistics
  • Types of power systems: battery, gas generator, alternative generation, and the pros, cons, and limiting factors of each
  • Sourcing: Owning vs renting/borrowing vs professional service providers including some pricing, and care and feeding instructions for small battery banks and generators
  • Q/A at end so everybody can feel confident seizing the means of power production and storage.

Know Your Rights (NLG Seattle)

 

 

2pm – 3:30pm

Queer Wanderings in the Anti-Nazi Underworld

A talk about queer anarchic currents in germany prior to the rise of the third reich, and gay resistance to the Nazis.

Firearms 101 (Puget Sound John Brown Gun Club)

Our standard presentation on basic firearms safety, knowledge concepts, and legal considerations. Geared towards people with limited or no firearms background. This presentation will cover the primary information for people intending to be responsible firearm owners. (There will be no loaded firearms involved in this workshop)

Location

The 2019 Seattle Anarchist Book Fair will take place at The Vera Project.

The Vera Project is located at Seattle Center, on the corner of Warren Ave North and Republican St.

Here is a map.

Contact

Note: Want to request a table? See the table application page!

Email us at seattlebookfair at riseup dot net with any questions!