Thoughts on independent publishing in the Brexit era

Britain is in the grip of a profound crisis; economic, political, cultural. The far right is emboldened more than we’ve seen in decades, enabled by an austerity-led government and a currently weakened opposition. So far, British politics has failed to adequately challenge xenophobia, racism and intolerance. We are exiting the European Union, which for all its faults has been a wonderful facilitator for cultural exchange with our brothers and sisters on the continent.

Regardless of how you think our political parties should progress, we are sure we can all agree that the most pressing issue we face as writers, publishers and cultural producers is protecting and fighting for the cosmopolitan, heterogeneous and inclusive future of the UK. We must fight for the margins, with the unheard, and alongside those who want the same fundamentally plural society we have managed to create in large parts of this country. We must continue to forge cultural relationships with Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia. We must challenge cultural fascism at every turn.

Influx Press promises to do this not only by publishing the voices of those who are under threat from racist violence and xenophobia, but by amplifying others who publish these voices too. This is not the time for competition, but for solidarity.

We will form greater connections and bonds with our fellow independent publishers who share our general outlook, and if we squabble over the fine print we still publish in solidarity with you. We will celebrate work in translation, we will support writers and publishers who work to bring other cultures to us. 

We promise to continue to publish the work of those who are fighting for an alternative future; one which seeks genuine equality and justice. We promise to continue publishing fiction, nonfiction and poetry that interrogates the common perceptions of the UK’s past. We promise to continue to highlight the alternative cultures that exist in this country that are drowned out by misconception of ‘British Values’. There is much to celebrate in the UK, it is important to remember this. Britain has moments of genuine progression in its history, built through cooperation and unity with those not born into power. We will listen as intently as we can to those who have experienced things we haven’t, those who have never been heard, those who are silenced. We will share.

However, it is not just through words and books that we can do this. We will help create physical spaces where those at threat from this buoyed nationalism can feel safe. We will be on the street when organised fascism is there too. We will speak up and take action whenever we witness discrimination, verbal and physical violence. We will fight in the spaces we hold dear, the park, the pub, the café, the community hall, the public land, the pavement, the club, the rave, the gig venue, public transport, our beloved London, our misled Kent. We will strive to keep these spaces open and inclusive. We will challenge with all our efforts those who want to make these spaces exclusive, to turn them into negative, hateful geographies. They are ours; therefore they are for everyone.

We are on the fringes of the industry, but we are not without influence. We are not full time publishers, but we are fully engaged. We are European citizens of the UK and we are not willing to let this country stagger towards a spiteful, vicious and intolerant future without putting up a fight.

In solidarity with all those facing violence and fear. ¡No pasarán!