Iraq’s cultural heritage: Theft of Artefacts following the US/UK Intervention

A talk by Kryss Katsiavriades

Iraq has managed to sustain one of the most ancient civilisations throughout all of history, in great comparison with Egypt, who also happens to uphold one of the most ancient and culturally rich civilisations. Within the ancient Mesopotamian culture, multiple different genres and forms of arts were created, from Assyrian art pieces to Babylonian, all representing a certain aspect of the traditions and rituals that were sustained throughout the particular time frame of their creation. Read on ...

The Anarchist Mecca? The French Anarchists in London, 1880-1914

Speaker – Constance Bantman

Five hundred or so French anarchists were exiled in London between 1880 and 1914. As the anarchist movement went through a terrorist phase which was especially bloody in France, the drastic repression that followed forced hundreds of ‘companions’ (the nickname of anarchists) out of the country. As most European countries closed their borders to political refugees – and above all the highly-stigmatised anarchists – at the end of the nineteenth century, Britain remained the one country offering shelter to such dissident and potentially dangerous groups, and therefore became the rallying point for international radical exiles, an unrivalled militant hub. Read on ...

Valentine Ackland

A Transgressive Life
Speaker: Frances Bingham

Valentine Ackland was a poet, gender-rebel, and lover of the writer Sylvia Townsend Warner. For much of her life she was under MI5 surveillance for ‘abnormality’ as well as Communism. This talk about Ackland’s transgressive life, by her biographer Frances Bingham, considers her lifelong political activism – which included volunteering for the Spanish Civil War – and the personal politics of her gender deviance. Read on ...

A materialist approach to fascism – past and present

Speaker: Paul Mason

2pm, Saturday, 26th February 2022

The far right is on the rise across the world. From Modi’s India to Bolsonaro’s Brazil and Erdogan’s Turkey, fascism is not a horror that we have left in the past; it is a recurring nightmare that is happening again – and we need to find a better way to fight it. Read on ...

Stalin’s Library: A Dictator and his Books

A compelling intellectual biography of Stalin told through his personal library

A Socialist History Society meeting with historian Geoffrey Roberts.

In this engaging life of the twentieth century’s most self-consciously learned dictator, Geoffrey Roberts explores the books Stalin read, how he read them, and what they taught him. Stalin firmly believed in the transformative potential of words and his voracious appetite for reading guided him throughout his years. Read on ...