My Top Tips for Brighton Book festival

This time last year, I was only just starting to work at The Feminist Bookshop. I did a couple shifts at the shop and then Brighton Book Festival #1 kicked off. It was such a special and meaningful adventure to be part of at the beginning of my bookseller journey. I was amazed at what Afrori Books and The Feminist Bookshop managed to put together for the local community and beyond. 

A year later and we’ve grown so much! Brighton Book Festival 2023 includes more than 20 events during the Independent Bookshop Week as well as a virtual programme that can be accessed from all around the world. 

Here’s a little top 5 of my most anticipated events for Brighton Book Festival 2023 - are you ready?

Resistance is Futile?

The first event I cannot wait to attend is an online one with a panel of authors and activists I really admire. The topics are also dear to my heart because I sometimes feel a bit helpless after going to a talk, reading an empowering book, or taking part in a protest.

I am often faced with thoughts like: “Ok, now I feel like I have more tools to have constructive conversations with people around me, Ok I learnt new things after reading this, Ok I feel like I am not alone in this, there’s still hope, a lot of us are wanting things to change, let’s do this!” But also I do not know where to start. I feel overwhelmed and it freezes me in one place. I do not feel like the tiny small things I do on a daily basis have a ripple effect, have consequences on a bigger scale.

I can only speak for myself but I think this panel will help in providing us some ways to find concrete actions but also find balance in looking after ourselves whilst doing so.

Windrush 75th Anniversary Celebrations

I cannot wait for this one. I grew up in France and moved quite late to the UK, and as a kid, I wasn’t taught about my own colonial past and history. I had to go and get the information myself later on in life. The UK imperialism past is something I am eager to learn more on and it still has an impact on so many people’s lives.

This event will be an incredible opportunity to listen to authors and activists across generations, learn about the importance of memory and transmission, and celebrate Caribbean culture and history.

Poetry Café

It is no secret that I am a huge poetry fan and most particularly spoken word performances. Spoken word has been a massive part of my activist journey. I think spoken word poetry is one of the most powerful ways to stir political change.

Words have so much magic in them! I cannot wait to sit back with a drink and immerse myself in the beautiful and thought-provoking works of artists I’ve been admiring for years!

Your Story Matters writing workshop

Poetry and writing are two things that go hand in hand for me. If you’re an aspiring writer (and I know a lot of you are, there are so many incredible writers in Brighton!) you don’t want to miss this. What an incredible opportunity it is to have the one and only Nikesh Shukla giving us his time, expertise and precious mentorship to guide us through our writing process.

You do not have to be a professional or to already have a piece of writing you’d like to work on. Just bring a notebook, a pen and an open mind and let’s write together!

Searching for Home

Themes of identity, belonging, feeling uprooted are really close to home for me. I have lived in multiple countries for the past ten years and my best friend is from Reunion Island, (an island in the Indian Ocean that is an overseas region of France) and these topics are at the core of our day to day lives: where am I from? Where do I belong? 

We will have the incredible chance to listen to a panel of novelists who explore these themes and the meaning of community in their writings. 

Bridge Builders

We’re going to end the 2023 Brighton Book Festival on such a beautiful note! Bridge Builders perfectly captures what we’re about with the festival: making marginalised mainstream and creating spaces where we can come together, learn and unlearn, encourage more listening, caring and foster cross-cultural engagement and solidarity.

Yes, I know, you counted right. This is technically not a top 5 but a top 6, I couldn’t help myself! There are so many events I cannot wait to discover and I hope I’ll see you there 🙂

Thanks for reading !