Fat Activism will be with us soon

Charlotte Cooper wears a Christmas tree hat and stands proudly in front of her booksIn case you haven’t read them yet, Charlotte has published two posts to get you excited for the publication of Fat Activism: A Radical Social Movement on 4 January 2016.

Five things I learnt from writing this book explains that writing and researching the book represents ‘a period of great intensity for me, about seven years or so, maybe a bit longer, of thinking and working on fat. It’s about to have a life beyond me and the many people who have supported the project over the years; it’s about to go public.’

Archiving Fat Activism is a list of archives and libraries Charlotte visited to research her book and where you can go to learn more about the history of Fat Activism.

As Charlotte makes clear: ‘Fat activist histories are so very fragile because fat people are not culturally valued and often we do not value our own lives enough to document or preserve them. The material that does get archived represents the tiniest tip of the iceberg in terms of what constitutes a social movement of fat activists.

Where people are further marginalised their legacies are even more fragile. People of colour and trans people’s fat activist archives are particularly invisible, even within archives that are already very marginal spaces.

One of the most painful experiences of being in an archive whilst looking for fat activism is the knowledge that there are terrible absences.

With this in mind, I urge fat activists to support archives that are open to documenting and preserving the evidence of our lives. Think about donating not just money but material, keep copies of things you make, encourage others to do so, learn how to use archives, try not to be intimidated by them.’

Don’t forget the official launch event for the book is on Friday 8 January 2016 at Gay’s the Word, 66 Marchmont St, London WC1N 1AB, 6.30-9pm.

All welcome, no booking required, please just turn up. 

We will announce more events in the new year.

And of course, it’s not too late to pre-order Fat Activism: A Radical Social Movement as a Xmas present. You get a nice voucher to print off and give to a loved one, or even a troublesome family member, and a free badge!

All the best for the holidays from HammerOn Press, and thank you for your support in 2015!


Life is War – new HammerOn title

We are super excited to announce news of the next HammerOn title: Life is War: Surviving Dictatorship in Communist Albania by Shannon Woodcock

It will be published 25 April 2016 in Paperback, Hardback and EPUB.

Life is War is a collection of oral histories that guides readers through the decades (1944-1992) in which everything was Book-cover-Life-is-War-Shannon-Woodcockcontrolled by the Communist Party; what work one could do, what food was available, and even who one could marry.

The reader accompanies Shannon, the author and historian, through intimate interviews with six Albanian men and women. We hear how everyday people survived shocking living conditions, political persecution and oppression dependent on ethnicity, political status, gender and sexuality.

This is a thorough and vivid history of lived communism in Albania, charting political and ideological shifts through the experiences of those who survived. Life is War stands as remarkable and profound testimony to the resilience of humanity in the face of unrelenting political terror.

An accurate and precise historical work, engagingly rendered from life narratives, it plunges the reader into the difficult emotional truths that are at the core of remembering Albania’s communist past.

Life is War is a valuable contribution to studies of everyday life under communism and dictatorship. Eloquently written and expertly researched, it will appeal to readers interested in life histories, war, communism, European history and trauma studies.

Cover design: Eva Megias