Road Less Travelled Press was initiated by Tamara Stoll in spring 2021 as a framework towards a collective publishing practice, mutual exchange, and collaboration.

    The core idea: to explore acts of protest and kindness in public space. How do individual and collective action relate, both rooted in agency and interdependence? 

Working in pairs, groups and workshops, with photography, dialogue, archives, libraries; and other approaches as they emerge in the specific context. 

    Through collective learning and publishing, the press’ aim is to generate and circulate new histories and personal narratives of agency and social change.
 
︎ Collaborations, contributions
︎ Reading groups, workshops
︎ Collective publishing



CONTACT
︎ Email [contact form]




TAKING THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED?



LESSONS FROM... Centerprise Publishing, AK Press, Half Letter Press & Kelly Foster 





Sources/ Resources

‘Local Publishing & Local Culture’ by Ken Worpole, published in 1977 by Centerprise ︎︎︎ 

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Download PDF of ‘Local Publishing & Local Culture’  https://archive.org/details/centerpriselocalpublishing

& read here via Radical History of Hackney blog
https://hackneyhistory.wordpress.com/2011/06/27/centreprise-working-class-history-and-local-publishing-1977/

Centerprise publications on  On-the-record website https://www.ahackneyautobiography.org.uk/publications.html

Download pdf of ‘A Hackney Autobiography’ published by On-the-record https://www.ahackneyautobiography.org.uk/our-book.html


AK Press, anarchist press and worker run collective, on anarchism and their aims:

Anarchism doesn't tell people what to do. It tells them that they have the ability to make decisions about the issues that affect them. Anarchism, and the anarchist movement, is about emancipation, empowerment, and agency.

A useful and instructive history of theoretical and practical experimentation by people who have worked to expand the definition of freedom itself. AK press as practical framework for working out these issues.

‘Getting the word out there by any means necessary: The first 25 years of AK Press’ by Eric Laursen
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Half Letter Press, publishing imprint and online store initiated by Temporary Services. Temporary Services is now two people—Brett Bloom & Marc Fischer. From their manifesto:

The distinction between art practice and other creative human endeavors is irrelevant to us.

We invent infrastructure or borrow it when necessary.

We seek to create and participate in ethical relationships that are not competitive and are mutually beneficial.


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Against Competition by Marc Fischer, published by Half Letter Press, 2014.
Read/ download here
http://www.temporaryservices.org/against_competition_mf.pdf
or riso printed pamphlet  here
https://halfletterpress.com/against-competition/

‘12 Contributors, 5 Publications, 5 Years” by Temporary Services, page with QR codes to connect with contributors and other publications by Half Letter Press.
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Kelly Foster is an open knowledge advocate and public historian, the chapter lead for Creative Commons UK, founding organiser of AfroCROWD UK, and founding member of TRANSMISSION



Photograph of the Silent Parade taken in 1917, [Underwood & Underwood, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons], printed out and hung on my studio wall. This photograph was originally used and brought into a wider public domain by Kelly Foster, co-writing a Wikipedia article about the Silent Parade and adding the photograph to Wikimedia Commons. 

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1917_Silent_Parade,_first_blood.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_Parade

Elvert Barnes’ photographs are on Flickr, Wikimedia, Creative Commons. Using a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.
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Paul Hammond’s photographs are on Flickr and Creative Commons using a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.
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https://creativecommons.org/

https://creativecommons.org/choose/#metadata

Learning from Centerprise

[conversations with Ken Worpole, reading ‘Local Publishing & Local Culture’ by Ken Worpole and ‘The Lime Green Mystery: an oral history of the Centerprise co-operative by Rosa Schling/ On The Record’. Visit at Bishopsgate Archive in London]

Group editing process practiced in the Workers Education Association and other writing/ history groups at Centerprise (p.11)

Local groups & organisations (i.e. Hackney Trade Council) commissioned Centerprise to produce publication/s about their radical histories in collaboration with them

Two different prices of books for sale - local price for book sales in the  borough, and general price for book sales outside of the borough

Current publication funds future publication, Centerprise bookshop & coffee bar crucial for both book sales and funding future publications 

Distribution to 20 local newsagents in Hackney of Centerprise publications on local history


‘What is Centerprise?’ accessed at Bishopsgate Institute is a 18 page pamphlet about the many activities of Centerprise co-operative, published in 1974.


Learning from AK Press

[conversation with Alexis at AK Press in Edinburgh, reading ‘Getting the word out there by any means necessary: The first 25 years of AK Press’ by Eric Laursen, reading ‘Emergent Strategy’ by adrienne maree brown, published by AK Press in 2017]

‘Friends of AK Press’ is a membership model. It works as a mutually beneficial loop between audience, author, publisher, organisers, exhibiters and readers. Staying close to audience. The online platform Patreon as a sustainable crowdfunding/ subscription method for self-publishing.

Amazon.com delivers to prisons. Selling books through this site will reach readers in prisons that it might not otherwise. The publication will need an ISBN code to be sold on this site.

In the UK, activists and booksellers have set up sidewalk stall in neighbourhoods without bookstores. 

Good judgement on quantity is crucial. Of a £10 book sale £1 is production, rest will go into transport, storage, losses, bookshop discounts, artist/ author fees/ royalties.

Questions of labour vs collaboration. If budget is low, can contributors be offered to be paid with copies of publication? 



Learning from Half Letter Press

[conversation with Marc Fischer. Notes from ‘ Towards A Self Sustaining Publishing Model’ (as talk hosted by Printed Matter with Marc Fischer, and publication). Reading ‘Against Competition’ by Marc Fischer, ‘What Problems Can Artist Publishers Solve?’ by Temporary Services/ PrintRoom, and ‘12 Contributors, 5 Publications, 5 Years” by Temporary Services, all published and/or distributed by Half Letter Press.]


When working with contributors, be specific about the scale of contribution. Parameters can be helpful and interesting as something to work with (instead of endless possibilities). 

”Find the bookstores that you love and work with them forever. It’s nicer to have deeper relationships with fewer bookstores than surface level interactions with dozens of shops run by people you don’t know.” [MF]

Make things in different price ranges so everyone can afford your work, but also so that you can sustain your practice. Use books as currency. Give copies to collaborators and create an economy of publishing.

Make something in a large enough print run so that you have something to give away and surplus that you can sell. Fund future work by stuff that’s already made.



Josh MacPhee in ‘What Problems Can Artist Publishers Solve?


Cover and page 4/5, contribution by Josh MacPhee, of ‘What Problems Can Artist Publishers Solve?

“...when an individual or small group can become, simultaneously, author-editor-artist-designer-printer-publisher. This breakdown of these defined roles can facilitate the breakdown between other stations in society, such as author/publisher and audience. This opens the possibility for new forms of relationships between these roles, not just in the abstract, but with each specific actor in each specific project.”



Learning from Kelly Foster

[conversation with Kelly Foster, listening to her talk ‘Editing it ourselves – knowledge equity and the Wikimedia community‘ as part of the ‘Recording it ourselves’, a knowledge sharing event about DIY cultures in March 2021, (without knowing) reading articles on Wikipedia co-written by Kelly Foster.

Notes from: Editing it ourselves – knowledge equity and the Wikimedia community:

-> Sum of all PUBLISHED knowledge: “Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.“ [KF]

-> “Writing your own history is another tool of empowerment; has a transformative impact. And for others, [they] can now access the history of people that have previously been invisible.” [Gender Diversity Mapping, WikiConference North America 2017 https://wiki/4bd]

Thinking about the Commons and communal approaches to knowledge. How do we think through decoloniality about authority as self-publishers and producers of new knowledge,  and the legal history of knowledge?

Creative Commons as an online space of sharing, circulation and creativity. Sharing intellectual property through six different licenses.

Elvert Barnes documents local protest in Silver Spring MD, USA.
He circulates his photographs through a CC BY 2.0 license, sharing them online. A way of creating visibility for a community.


Paul Hammond’s Flickr page using NASA footage to constructing landscapes of Mars. His photographs can be copied, shared and adapted under the conditions that he is credited appropriately and they are used for non-commercial purposes.