Peacock Visual Arts are very proud to present a special talk with Alan Marshall about Aberdeen People’s Press in W OR M on Saturday 27th April at 2pm. You do not need to purchase a ticket to attend this event, Peacock Visual Arts is a registered Charity and we greatly appreciate your support so have made a donation based ticket available for those who wish to contribute to cultural events in the city.
Free tickets are available here
Aberdeen People’s Press
The idea to set up an alternative newspaper and printing service in Aberdeen started in 1972 when some members of a local arts and community workshop became disillusioned with their particular form of radical action. They argued that one of the key problems in any form of community involvement was the tendency for people to define their life problems as ‘private issues’, individual problems, rather than relating them to the wider social, political and economic context. What was wanted was a medium for the communication of ideas, information and examples of action between individuals and the community, and between communities. The project to set up an information service, newspaper and printing service was intended to go some way towards this. The founding group shared an anarchistic/libertarian socialist outlook and aimed at self-management through self-activity and self-consciousness. It didn’t want to make other people’s revolution for them, but to help others become revolutionaries in their own right. To this end they stressed the need for information – information about existing injustices, information as sources of ideas for action, information about like-minded people, and information helping to relate individual experiences to society as a whole. Hence the need for a newspaper. They also knew from the experience of other radical papers that a stable financial base was essential. So, in the absence of advertising revenue, they decided to start a service press in conjunction with the paper. Thus was born Aberdeen People’s Press which, over a period of nearly ten years, would publish a fortnightly newspaper, historical and current affairs pamphlets and books, while at the same time printing for a broad range of left-wing political organisations, activist groups, trade unions and charities in Scotland.
Alan Marshall was a member of the group that set up Aberdeen People’s Press which became a workers’ co-op in 1979. In 1981 he moved to France where he continued to work in printing and publishing. In 1989 began working with the Lyons Printing Museum as historical advisor and later as its director until his retirement in 2015. In 1991 obtained a PhD in history for a study of the Lumitype-Photon phototypesetting machine which was a landmark in the modernisation of the post-Second World War graphic industries. He has published numerous articles and several books on the history of printing and graphic communication. He is currently chair of the Association of European Printing Museums.