We run a public programme including archival projects, publications, film screenings, “scan-a-thons” for digitising archival material, workshops, talks and discussion, reading groups, and social nights, all of which encourage active and collective engagement with history of social movements.
Shitologists of the world, unite! This summer Britain has been engulfed in shit. Our coastlines swamped in brown filth pumped by the sewage companies. Our daily commute is invaded by […]
Meet Francesca Recchia and Suchitra Vijayan to discuss their book How Long Can the Moon Be Caged? Voices of Indian Political Prisoners. Structured as an open conversation, the event will […]
Practices and Research in Living and Unfinished Archives is a 3 day workshop bringing together practitioners, researchers and students from different disciplines and institutions, around an interest in archival material. Based […]
MayDay Rooms is excited to be hosting this day-long workshop with Feminist Print Cultures, which focuses on the past, present and future of feminist print cultures, with particular attention to […]
The Cost-of-Living Crisis and Histories of Direct Action
The current cost-of-living crisis has incentivised a number of strikes in workplaces and sectors all across the country. However, the sphere of production isn’t the only place where a revitalisation of struggle is emerging. Struggles in the sphere of circulation, from energy bill refusal to mass shoplifting, have re-emerged as proletarian responses to our ongoing crises. From Marius Jacob’s ‘night workers’ to the ‘proletarian shopping’ of 1970s Italy, from the Poll Tax federations to student rent strikes, there is a historical precedent for this activity that must be explored and analysed if we wish to push these contemporary struggles further.
Seize the Media
Indymedia was a global network of Independent Media Centres (IMC) which saw its heyday in the first two decades of the 21st Century. Self-organised networks of local activists covered international resistance to capitalism, ecocide, neocolonialism and many other local and international struggles. Indymedia became synonymous with the issues taken up by the Global Justice Movement. Powered by the internet and built on IMC servers, Indymedia embodied the ethos of DIY journalism and autonomous media. It is a vital part of the pre-history of social media and digitally-enabled activism.
Uncovering the Archive
Uncovering the Archive is an archival collaboration between MayDay Rooms and Iniva. We are offering a free series of workshops and screenings to existing youth programmes with an aim to engage young people (16-25) from marginalised communities such as Black and QTIPOC/PGM*, working class, migrant and Disabled. The intention is to introduce the archive as a resource and archiving as a mode of storytelling available to, and representative of, the identities and lives of those normally excluded from history making practices. By working with the collections held both at MDR and Iniva, the programme aims to offer young people with the tools to confidently explore, interrogate and create the stories they want to tell or wish were told through engaging activities that center creative play, conversation and making. By introducing young people to places, digital spaces and people that are made for/representative of them, we hope to empower their claim to history and uphold the integrity of what is important to them.
New Architectural Movement Digital Archive
A unique collection of documents from a significant activist movement that challenged the established order of architectural practice both in the private and public sectors goes online in November. In the mid-1970s the New Architecture Movement (NAM) gave a voice to progressive and inclusive initiatives that encouraged people to promote social change and greater equality through their work in the built environment.
The launch of NAM’s archive provides both a new resource for historical research and also a challenge to present and future generations in the field to reinterpret and apply NAM’s radical ideas to current issues. NAM brought together young idealistic architects, engineers and planners from across the UK seeking ways to reform working practices and the planning and development process. In an intensely productive period from 1975-80 the movement ran workshops, campaigns and seminars on a range of issues – professional education and governance, workplace structures, feminism, public sector design, worker unionisation – to create an alternative vision that put the priorities of people and communities ahead of developers,corporations and officials.
Stuart Christie Memorial Archive
The Stuart Christie Memorial Archive was founded in the spring of 2021 and is hosted by the Mayday Rooms. The Archive, brought together by researcher Jess Thorne, preserves Stuart Christie’s private library, personal correspondence, his publishing endeavours, oral testimony, radical ephemera and an extensive online library of anarchist films. In an ongoing process, the archive is being expanded to include a larger collection of oral histories, which will explore the sequence of revolts associated with ‘1968’ and the long winter of reaction that followed in the 1970’s.
Leftove.rs: Digital Archive
Leftovers is a shared online archive of radical, anti-oppressive and working class movements. The platform hopes to aid the dissemination of archived ephemera from these movements, campaigns, and struggles, casting light on histories of resistance from below. We hope that the project will become a vital resource through opening up archives of radical dissent.
The archive is very much a work-in-progress but we are happy for people to browse, download pdfs and get involved if the want to help add metadata and catagorise the material.