Open The Door – Our reading list

Small revelations create ripples

Recommendations from people around me:  

Olivia Plender – the visual artist who has helped redesign our community room in the upstairs gallery and has been hosting ‘Our Bodies Are Not Our Problems’ sessions in our space

Wendy Kirk  – Wendy is our amazing and dependable librarian who we can turn to, to find books and stories around those books. I have been with Wendy all around the Library space and the Story Cafes where I have had the chance to listen to her voice as a narrator. She believes in the life-changing power of books, reading and libraries!

Ren Clark – Ren is our Volunteering Programme Assistant and I remember, the first staff member with whom I had my first induction into the values, principles and ethos of GWL. They work alongside Gabrielle, the Volunteer Coordinator, and believes in the power-driven qualities of feminist organizations and the change-making aspect of volunteers working in and remotely with the Library.

  • Trans Power by Juno Roche 
  • The Gentrification of the Mind by Sarah Schulman  

Activism, to me, is an outspoken passion and care for a cause that is grounded in action. This action pushes for political, societal, or cultural change that ultimately leads to achieving the goals of a movement. This action can be large – like direct action, lobbying, or starting an organization – or small – like uplifting the voices of the marginalized, practicing community care, and committing to learning more about the cause. Both small and large acts of activism are necessary not only to achieve goals of movements and causes, but to look after the communities those movements serve” is the lens through which Ren lives activism

Rachel Thain-Grey – Project Coordinator for Three Decades Projects and has been my supervisor on my previous project ‘digital evaluations strategy for measuring our impact over thirty years’ on this placement. Rachel is warm, welcoming and passionate in meeting and showing visitors around. I am glad to include her recommendations in this project that’s both important and priceless to me.

  • Gender Trouble, Bodies That Matter by Judith Butler  
  • Your Silence Will Not Protect You by Audre Lorde  (in Library)
  • Black Feminist Thought by Patricia Hill Collins  
  • Class Struggle and Women’s Liberation by Tony Cliff  
  • Who Can Speak by Roof and Wiegman   

Gabrielle Macbeth – our Volunteer Coordinator since 2011 and the person who opened my doors towards the Library. Below mentioned are in our Library:

  • Beloved by Toni Morrison – the story of a person becoming freed from slavery 
  • The Female Malady by Elaine Showalter – around women mental health, discusses medicalization of ‘female behaviors’ 
  • Hunger by Roxane Gay – this changed Gabrielle’s perceptions about fat and body and more 
  • Climate Justice by Mary Robinson – based on environmental activism 
  • Men Explain Things To Me by Rebecca Solnit – contains activism around a lot of issues 

‘A lot of people think political activism as some grim duty, and I think we do have an obligation to be citizens to be informed and engaged’ by Rebecca Solnit is the meaning Gabrielle attaches to activism 

Rebecca Odell – Rebecca is the Project Curator from Hackney Museum and was kind enough to share their recommended book – Tiny Pieces of Skull by Roz Kaveney a transgender rights activist.  

The next blogs will cover Beverly our amazing volunteer’s reflections on her activist life, my visits to Saint Alberts Primary School which is a uniquely driven educational space, reflections from Sapna Agarwal who works at Woodlands Community Anti-racist Library and Jude Mckechnie a cultural historian and blog writer working with Govanhills Bath Trust. I hope the color of your freedom is taking shape in the ways you have imagined for yourself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *