Our Book of the Month for October is Bouchra Khalili’s The Tempest Society (2019) – previously £25, get it for £17.50 until 31 October 2021 (30% off).
Gathering together interviews, essays, rare archival material and translations, The Tempest Society revisits and resuscitates the forgotten heritage of a politicised theatre group – ‘Al Assifa’ – that was born out of the struggles of the Mouvement des travailleurs arabes (MTA), Palestine, anti-colonialism, and workers’ and immigrant labour rights. Contributors explore the legacy of the group – placing this history in the context of the European economic crisis and its effect on Greece, contemporary migration and the conditions of immigrant workers and refugees. Conversations with the artist, and participants and collaborators in her film, consider the potential for politicised art to move between the street and the factory in cultural production today.
Following The Tempest Society (2017), the original video installation commissioned for documenta 14, which took Athens as a site to reflect on radical equality, democracy and theatre as a civic space, the book brings to light the specific history, the archive, and the ongoing resonance of the agit-prop theatre group ‘Al-Assifa’ in the context of urgent economic, political and humanitarian upheaval.
With contributions from Abdellali Hajjat, Hendrik Folkerts, Pothiti Hantzaroula, and interviews with Philippe Tancelin, surviving member of Al Assifa, Bouchra Khalili, Omar Berrada, and Alexandre Kauffmann, and Isavella Alopoudi, Elias Kiama Tzogonas, and Giannis Sotiriou, the performers in The Tempest Society.
Bouchra Khalili is a Moroccan-French visual artist. Raised between Morocco and France, she studied Film at Sorbonne Nouvelle and Fine Arts at École Nationale Supérieure d’Arts de Paris-Cergy. Recent exhibitions include solo shows at MFA, Boston, Jeu de Paume, Paris and Sessession, Vienna. In 2018 she has been shortlisted for both the Guggenheim’s Hugo Boss Prize and the Artes Mundi Prize. She currently lives in Berlin.
Book Works is a leading contemporary arts organisation with a unique role as makers and publishers of books.
Established in 1984, we are dedicated to supporting new work by emerging artists. Our projects are initiated by invitation, open submission, and through guest-curated projects. Book Works consists of a publishing and commissioning department; and a studio specialising in binding, box-making and multiples.
The Book Works Studio offers a specialist bespoke service for a range of clients, from artists, designers, galleries, and businesses. We provide binding solutions, develop prototypes and specialise in unique book artworks, boxes, and portfolios. We have an extensive archive, and offer tailored educational events, and bookbinding courses. The Studio generates income from clients and is self-sufficient.
Book Works Publishing is dedicated to supporting new work by emerging artists. Our projects are initiated by invitation, open submission, and through guest-curated projects and include publishing, a lecture and seminar programme, exhibitions, the development of an online archive, and artists’ surgeries and workshops.
Our audience is vital to our work. The process of engaging and developing our audience is initiated with our commissioning programme, and driven through all aspects of our activities, particularly our public programme of events, our workshops, artists’ surgeries and education activities, and through our interest in collaborating with other organisations and libraries. Our programme of commissions is diverse, and reflects our commitment not just to work with cultural workers from all backgrounds, but to invest in networks and programmes that engage, and develop and create new artistic voices.
Include new projects with: Phyllis Christopher; Francesco Pedraglio; Sarah Tripp; Praneet Soi; Stuart Brisley; Nina Wakeford and Art on the Underground; Erica Scourti; Sophia Al-Maria; Bouchra Khalili; Laure Prouvost; Stephen Sutcliffe; Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan; Contact – a series guest edited by Hannah Black with Hamishi Farah, Momtaza Mehri and Derica Shields; and Interstices, a fiction series edited by Bridget Penney with Harun Morrison, Diana Georgiou and Licorice by Bridget Penney.
By supporting Book Works you will help support artists and writers at the emerging stage of their careers through our diverse commissioning programme of open submissions, guest editorships, public events, exhibitions and publications: MAKE A DONATION.
Book Works is a registered charity, dedicated to advance education for the benefit of the public in the visual arts, particularly books which may be recognised as works of art in their own right.
We have a board of trustees who input their range of diverse expertise and interests into our development:
Teresa Drace-Francis (Chair)
Gerrie van Noord