News from the Working Class Movement Library

Announcements and information

Cheering up Blue Monday with poetry and radical history

Our evening of poetry with Oliver James Lomax last Thursday saw us reach our maximum limit of 100 Zoom attendees for the first time - wow.  If you were too late in trying to log on and therefore didn't get to 'attend', you can see the full event now on our YouTube channel at - alongside all of our online talks from 2020.  Happy watching.

LOITER - a public art exhibition

Although of necessity it's had to become a self-directed rather than communal event, the public art exhibition LOITER is still taking place on Saturday 30 January.  Beginning at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art and meandering through to Chapel Street and the Working Class Movement Library, LOITER is a public art exhibition incorporating new films, animations, sound, intervention and augmented realities, developed by six different artists.

We are keen to find out what 'our' artist, Christian Selent - a graphic & motion designer, animator, writer and musician based in Chemnitz, Germany - has created, inspired by our collections and in particular by Paul Lafargue's The right to be lazy. Christian is recipient of a Remote Residency at WCML developed in partnership with site-specific art festival Begehungen, Chemnitz.  Further details to follow.

In the lead up to LOITER, tomorrow Tuesday 19 January at 7.30pm exhibiting artist Parham Ghalamdar will discuss his work and practice with curator George Vasey. This talk, hosted by Proforma whose brainchild LOITER is, will cover topics of working class depictions in art, transformations of practice, and alternative sites for exhibiting art in the public realm. Chaired by Chris Bailkoski, the talk is free. Email to receive a Zoom link, sent out tomorrow morning.

Early 2021 online talks

Our Invisible Histories 2pm Wednesday talks start up again in February - less invisible than they used to be to many, thanks to the power of Zoom ;-)  Here's the list - there are more details at

3 Feb         Paul Fitzgerald  'Tom Paine's bones: a fantastical visual biography'
10 Feb       Raymond Woolford, LGBT History Month talk, 'Kath Duncan: the importance of working class LGBTQ woman in history'
17 Feb       Matthew Kidd 'The renewal of radicalism: politics, identity and ideology in England, 1867-1924’
24 Feb       Matthew Roberts 'Ever present to the progressive mind?: heritage politics and the memory of Chartism in England and Wales, 1918–2020'
3 March     Ali Ronan ‘It is our duty clamourously and unceasingly to agitate’
10 March   Celebrating International Women's Day
17 March   Ralph Darlington  'British labour movement solidarity in the 1913-14 Dublin Lockout'
24 March   Lauren Murphy on the Bradford Pit Memorial

In the meantime, we'd love you to browse our online resources such as our Begin the World Over Again podcast and the online exhibitions we have hosted over this last year via home. And a reminder that all thirty of our live-streamed talks thus far have been recorded and are available for viewing on our YouTube Channel at

Len Crome Memorial Conference

The International Brigade Memorial Trust (IBMT) is running this annual event online on Saturday 20 March, 2.30pm-4pm.  A discussion between Professor Sir Paul Preston and Professor Helen Graham will take place on the question 'Was the Spanish Republic worth dying for?'.

Professor Sir Paul Preston is one of the world’s foremost historians of the causes, course and consequences of the Spanish Civil War. His latest book is ‘A people betrayed: a history of corruption, political incompetence and social division in modern Spain 1874-2018’. He is the IBMT’s Founding Chair.

Professor Helen Graham teaches history at Royal Holloway University of London. Her books include ‘Interrogating Francoism: history and dictatorship in twentieth-century Spain’ and ‘The Spanish Civil War: a very short introduction’. She is also an IBMT Patron.

Registration is free; more information and bookings at

Sharing a couple of video links

1. A new 70-minute documentary about the Wapping dispute by platform films in association with the News International Dispute Archive is now available. The story is told by sacked printworkers and the ‘refusenik’ journalists who joined them. It was made with the News International Dispute Archive group whose travelling exhibition the Library hosted a few years ago. More information about the film here.  

The film can now be viewed online at for £2.25.

A DVD version with extras is available from platform films, 37a Clerkenwell Green, London EC1R 0DU. To purchase a copy please email with your details. The price is: £8 + £1 P&P and cheques should be made out to platform films.

2. And a record of the unveiling of a plaque to Haringey WW1 conscientious objectors can be viewed at  This particular location was a meeting place for anti-war gatherings.