Friday, October 1, 2010

Grahamstown "Black Flame" seminar, Wed. 6 Oct., Rhodes Sociology, Eastern Cape

Grahamstown seminar, Wed. 6 Oct. -> 'Black Flame: the revolutionary class politics of anarchism and syndicalism', @ Rhodes Sociology, Eastern Cape


The Faculty of Humanities together with the Department of Sociology invite you to attend the following seminar :

"Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics Of Anarchism And Syndicalism"
PRESENTED BY: Lucien van der Walt & Michael Schmidt
DISCUSSANT: Dr Kirk Helliker, Sociology Dpt.
VENUE: Faculty of Humanities Seminar Room, cnr Prince Alfred and Somerset Street, Grahamstown
TIME: 06 October 2010 @ 5pm

FURTHER INFORMATION: Karen Kouari, 046 6038362 or


'Black Flame' examines the anti-authoritarian class politics of the anarchist/syndicalist movement, its 150 years of popular struggle on five continents, and its vision of a decentralized self-managed society. An indispensable conceptual and historical roadmap, with close attention to Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America, looking at its:
· Opposition to hierarchy, capitalism and the state
· Strategy: building revolutionary counter-power
· History: labour, community, anti-imperialism
· Agenda: participatory, cooperative economics
· Revolutions: Mexico, Spain, Ukraine, Korea
· Revival: today's struggles

- "brilliant and thought-provoking ... for activists, students and academics alike..." (Mandisi Majavu, Africa Project for Participatory Society, 'ZNET')
- "deserves to be read by all those on the Left seeking to understand anarchism's diverse contributions to democratic socialist thinking and practice ..." (Devan Pillay, 'Amandla')
- "illustrates the universality of anarchism, which until now, other literature has not done ... countless examples of large movements globally from Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Cuba and the United States, to South Africa, Egypt, Korea and Japan ... Spain, Italy, Russia, the UK and Ireland ..." (Mandy Moussouris, 'South African Labour Bulletin')
- " ... extraordinary ... succeeds in bringing anarchist ideas into vivid relief in their historical contexts ... shows the increasing relevance of an anarchist critique..." (Martin Miller, Duke University, author of 'The Russian Revolution', 'Kropotkin')
- "a fascinating account of the often obscured history of anarchists, their organisations and history..." (Leo Zeilig, 'International Socialism')
-  "the depth and breadth of the research are impressive, the arguments sophisticated, and the call to organize timely ..." (Mark Leier, 'Labour/Le Travail')
- "... an active reflective utterance and a valuable reference work for some years to come ... " (Ian Liebenberg and Petrus de Kock, 'South African Journal of Philosophy').
- "If you have a passing interest in radical politics, get this book. If you have an interest in anarchism, get this book ..." (Deric Shannon, 'Interface: a journal for and about social movements')
-  "... fascinating, revealing and often startling ..." (Alan Lipman, anti-apartheid exile, author 'On the Outside Looking In: colliding with apartheid and other authorities')
- "useful and insightful ... a grand work of synthesis ... an excellent starting point..." (Greg Hall, 'WorkingUSA')
-  "Brilliant ... outstanding ... Do yourself a favour and buy it now!" (Iain McKay, author of 'The Anarchist FAQ', volume 1)
- "... considerable scholarship and deep reflection ... remarkable ... powerful and lucidly written ..." (Jon Hyslop, author of 'The Notorious Syndicalist: JT Bain, a Scottish rebel in colonial South Africa')
- "The book is so good that every anarchist should read it and set up discussion groups on it ... go read the book" (Nate Hawthorn, 'Ideas and Action')
- "an outstanding contribution ... unique in examining anarchism from a worldwide perspective instead of only a west European angle ..." (Wayne Price, author of 'The Abolition of the State: anarchist and Marxist perspectives')
- "a must for everybody interested in nonauthoritarian social movements ... " (Bert Altena, Rotterdam University, author of 'Piet Honig, Herinneringen van een Rotterdamse revolutionair')

Michael Schmidt is a Johannesburg-based investigative journalist/ journalism trainer and activist, with experience in Chiapas, civil war Guatemala, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Rwanda, Darfur, and Lebanon.

Lucien van der Walt teaches at Wits. Winner of the 2008 international 'Labor History' dissertation and the 2008/2009 CODESRIA Africa thesis awards, his extensive publications include (with Steve Hirsch) the forthcoming 'Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1880-1940' (Brill 2010).


1 comment:

  1. Another succesful event. In the afternoon, we workshopped elements of the book with activists from the local unemployed movement, and the evening launch had between 55-60 people, mainly from the local university.

    With this event, and the earlier ones in Canada, Mexico amnd South Africa, we'e done 18 launches/ workshops in 3 countries (so far).

    Next up: BRAZIL.