14 May 2022

Bristol Radical History Festival 2022

After a two-year break the fourth Bristol Radical History Festival returns to M Shed with a full programme of history walks, talks, exhibitions, films, performance and book stalls.

Once again, we will reveal hidden histories, debate and agitate for a future of better pasts. This year there are two main themes.

State surveillance of social movements (1792 to now)

Discover how the British state through spying has attempted to neutralise, suppress and stymie progressive movements and groups.

The theme covers fears in the aftermath of the French revolution in the 1790s, republicanism, struggles for democracy, resistance to World War One and the increasing political and economic power of the working class in the 1960s. It ends with the scandal of undercover #spycops from 1968 to the present.

Hidden histories of post-war Britain (1945-51)

Uncover the hidden histories of successful popular campaigns and direct action in Britain, for housing, social reforms, civil and labour rights.

The theme ranges from mass squatting of defunct army bases, the refusal of wartime ID cards, and struggle against the death penalty to international labour solidarity. These struggles were led from below rather than being the actions of a reforming Labour government. Meanwhile in Britain’s colonies, movements for liberation from Empire were also rapidly gaining momentum.

Not to be missed is this display on the top floor:

  • Politics and Protest: Posters from the Women’s Liberation Movement

As always, the festival is a free event. The full programme can be found on the Bristol Radical History Group website.

Bristol Radical History Group.

Founded in 2006, Bristol Radical History Group (BRHF) has organised and participated in more than 500 events. These include festivals, talks, walks, film screenings, archive days, protests, historical recreations, gigs, effigy burnings and fireside storytelling. Members of BRHG are currently involved in several research projects ranging from anti-fascism to workhouses, transatlantic slavery to squatting. BRHG organises events across Bristol and the South West, hosting local, national and international speakers. They have also published over 60 pamphlets and books. BRHG events are free or of minimal cost and open for anybody to attend.

BRHG are a non-profit, volunteer-run organisation who take no funding from business, political parties, local government or universities. They seek to open up history so that it is relevant, engaging and accessible for all.

Book a time slot for your visit

This event is free. Donations are always welcome.

You are welcome to drop-in at any point during the day. To guarantee entry at a specific time, please book your place in advance. Just click the link below and select Saturday 14 May from the date picker. Time slots are available from 10am until 4pm.

Book tickets