This half-hour lecture by former radical printshop worker and LSE lecturer Jess Baines investigates the largely forgotten history of the radical design and print collectives of the 1970s and 80s.
Inspired by French general strike of 1968, radical print co-ops came together all over Britain and, for a time, created a sustained alternative design and print scene based off a combination of paid commercial work from broad left groups such as unions, "red" labour councils and radical working class organisations, alongside a commitment to pushing radical messages as often as possible.
The groups involved often came from a strong DIY background, and were heavily influenced by anachist thinking, working on a non-hierarchical basis. Several were, or would become, women-only spaces and ended up offering a near-unique feminist voice with significant influence on the progressive movement as a result.
Baines was a relative latecomer to the process when she got involved in the scene in the 1980s, but managed a lengthy stint at one of the few co-ops to have survived into the 2010s, Bethal Green-based Calverts.