What’s your favourite event of the year?

Mine is coming up soon, May 24th-25th – the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair. The weekend is shared in true community style. Dance parties with random new friends can be discovered while doubling on bicycles, “safe space” is celebrated, and perspective is refreshingly….radical. People here are all about doing it themselves, direct action, and being willing to look critically at the world.

There are two buildings hosting book and zine publishers, poster displays, workshops, free films, and the best of all: outside you can chill with new books and meet friends and strangers, play some frisbee or baseball, and eat free food.

Bring cash – unlike at craft fairs, no one here wants to give money to credit card companies (or deal with the paperwork). It can be overwhelming, it’s SO busy…they added a second room for books a couple years back which has eased the congestion problem but still, there is so much to take in. Take your time and just soak it in before buying things or going nuts. Need posters or patches? There’s fresh graphic design from Justseeds and Beehive, and me!

My job at this event is to lay the hundreds of patches I’ve made out on a table for whatever price you are able to pay. Sliding scale, or PWYC – pay what you can- (terms which you will see a lot), and for patches, that’s usually between $1 and $4 per. I won’t turn down a handful of random change if that’s all you have! Think “Sacred Economics”. Last year, I traded someone for a silkscreen frame exposed with some classic designs like “I didn’t go to work today, I don’t think I’ll go tomorrow” – they were all clogged and unusable, but I have it hanging on my wall. I’ve swapped for re-usable pads, hand balm, cinnamon buns, comic books, patches and zines. I use part of the proceeds from the patches to buy books for prisoners at Collins Bay in order to share radical ideas with these men who are living on the margins, so if you can, pay a little more or stop by with a book donation for the guys!BookfairPosterEnglishColour