Meet Me In The Present: Documents and their Afterlives is an anthology of essays which examines the power of collective action. Spanning twenty-one acts of resistance — from letters exchanged between black power activists to the ethos of protest being brought into the Victoria and Albert Museum — and with an afterword by critic Orit Gat, these essays consider what it means to survive against all odds within a changing society. Drawing from the motives and experiences of those who have protected the right to access shared resources, Meet Me in the Present tells the stories of these diverse defenders. The book calls for public spaces, and for ideas to be made public in a time when ‘the commons’ is increasingly under attack.
174pp, numerous colour + b/w images
Designed by Tom Finn + Jake Tolladay
Bogle-L'Ouverture Bookshop in West Ealing. Image c/o London Metropolitan Archives
Contributor: My Honey Dearest, Bruthaman, Darling, Sweetheart, My Love
Jessica Huntley was a prolific writer and political activist. Upon arriving in England in 1958 to join her husband Eric Huntley, the couple lived with and socialised amongst the coterie of cultural activists from the Caribbean living in London, whilst saving up enough funds to bring their two children over from Georgetown, Guyana. In the late 1960s, the Huntley's set up and ran the publishing company Bogle-L’Ouverture and a few years later, The Walter Rodney Bookshop, which would go on to operate for eighteen years before closing in 1990.
Like many other such women, Jessica Huntley did not write an autobiography, diary or journal. Yet she did leave a rich body of letters: to friends and comrades around the world, to Black scholars whose work she published as well as to local, national, and international state institutions. It is within the letters that excerpts of autobiographical stories bubble to the surface opening onto terrains of action; where intimacy couples tightly with expressions of outrage, devoutly expressed care, persistent protest, and the ongoing struggles of fighting systemic fascism; extending voices to oppressed and suppressed histories.