Once referred to by the press as ‘Britain’s Most Famous Anarchist’, the late Stuart Christie sadly left us last year. We are working with his friends and family to establish a memorial archive in his name. We will be posting updates with materials from the archive as they arrive with us, and are catalogued and scanned over the coming months. Please donate what you can to the crowdfunder!
Stuart’s life may have been plastered with headlines, Britain’s most famous anarchist was the usual description, but the small print of it was what was important. His courage, imagination, his loyalty, not just to what he believed in, but to his friends and family, his remarkable intelligence, his self-deprecating, droll and spiky humour. He was a man of parts, each one of them remarkable.
To reveal the richness of Stuart’s life and the many histories he was a part of, we intend to establish a memorial archive in his name. The Stuart Christie Memorial Archive will be housed at the MayDay Rooms in Fleet Street in London.
This project has been brought together by his family, close friends and comrades and is supported by the MayDay Rooms collective. The memorial will include photographs, letters, personal mementoes, art works, his writings, as well as the output of his publishing arms, Cienfuegos Press, Christie Books and his Anarchist Film Archive.
The archive will also be available online. With the money raised from you, we will be employing a part-time archivist and researcher. Jessica Thorne, a doctoral researcher, whose work focuses on anarchist prisoners in Franco’s Spain, has already started work on the archive. Stuart’s daughter Branwen is contributing personal photographs and letters.
Much of the material will be new, including letters from Carabanchel prison in Spain where he was incarcerated after his failed attempt to assassinate the dictator Francisco Franco, as well as early childhood photographs. It will cover his involvement in the Angry Brigade trial, his period on Orkney – and his newspaper, the Free-Winged Eagle – with previously unseen photographs.
Stuart’s writing was prolific, including his ‘autobiography’ Granny Made Me An Anarchist, which was published by Scribner. That was the expurgated version, there were three previous volumes he published himself. Part of the memorial’s work will be to re-publish the three-part autobiography, as well as Pistoleros!, his trilogy, novel/memoir, the Chronicles of Farquhar McHarg.
An important part of the project will be to make the archive available online so that people throughout the world will be able to access it, to gain an insight into a life lived to the full, but also for study and research. Alongside the archive, the money raised from donations will help fund a series of educational events, addressing Stuart’s history and the histories of the movements he was involved in.
Depending on the amount of money raised, we are also hoping to commission an artist to create a physical memorial to Stuart. We are currently drafting designs for a secular, stained-glass window, which will be placed in the renamed Stuart Christie Library.
If we exceed our funding target, the collective will meet to discuss how we can expand the project further – or alternatively, re-allocate these funds to prisoner support groups/educational projects.
There will be regular updates about the developments in the project as they occur.