Reading for Bhopal

Tonight at 7pm the 16th Edinburgh Independent Radical Book Fair begins – 24th to 28th October, opened by Richard Gott:

The book fair celebrates themes, writers and small, independent presses which may be neglected by more mainstream festivals. Every year it brings to Edinburgh a mixture of readings, book launches, film screenings, exhibitions and workshops.

There are many reasons for going along to the Out of the Blue Drill Hall any day of the week (the coffee and cake are only two). During the whole of the alternative book fair, Owen Logan has a photographic exhibition based on Flammable Societies: Studies on the Socio-economics of Oil and Gas.

On Friday evening, four writer / artist / performers are doing a fundraiser for the Bhopal Medical Appeal (admission free with discretionary donation) run by the Scottish Friends of Bhopal:

  • Alasdair Gray has been a prolific producer of novels, short stories, plays, poems, pamphlets and literary criticism. He is also an accomplished artist who has painted remarkable murals and is the designer and illustrator of his own books and those of other writers.
  • Alison McMorland came to wider public notice in the early 1970′s and since then has been active as a collector, performer, teacher editor and publisher. Geordie McIntyre is a Glaswegian of Highland and Irish descent, his lifetime involvement in song, ballad and poetry is reflected in his singing, collecting and songwriting.
  • William Letford has worked as a roofer, on and off, since he was fifteen years old. He has received a New Writer’s Award from the Scottish Book Trust and an Edwin Morgan Travel Bursary which allowed him to spend three months in the mountains of northern Italy helping to restore a medieval village.
  • Penny Stone, Winner of the Songs for Social Justice Award Competition 2012 United Kingdom .

Friday 26 October 2012 at 8.30pm, Out of the Blue Drill Hall in Dalmeny Street:

At present, an estimated 120,000–150,000 survivors of the disaster are still chronically ill. Over 25,000 have died of exposure-related illnesses and more are dying still. Tens of thousands of children in Bhopal have been born with birth defects and require lifelong care and support. TB is several times more prevalent in the gas-affected population and Cancer rates are on the rise.’

The Scottish Friends of Bhopal are a project of the Bhopal Medical Appeal, which funds the only facilities in Bhopal to provide free, first class medical care to those affected by the 1984 Bhopal disaster and the ongoing water contamination. The BMA runs the Sambhavna Clinic and The Chingari Rehabilitation Centre, and so far it has cared for more than 50,000 people.

The Scottish Friends of Bhopal began in July 2011 and is

aimed at providing support, fundraising events and awarness for Bhopal survivors and other victims of pollution. The people of Bhopal continue on their courageous, 27 year fight for justice, and still the factory site remains highly toxic and un-cleaned which continues to be a serious hazard and threat to the health and safety of all those who live within the community.

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