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Arnolfini - est 1961

A night of 80s counterculture, visual reference and northern humour with Craig Oldham and radical publisher, Rough Trade Books.

Craig returns to Bristol to mark the launch of this latest project – They Live: A Visual and Cultural Awakening. Paying homage to iconic science-fiction film, the book represents a visual celebration of this cult classic.

Designed as a perfect replica prop from the film’s synonymous newsstand aesthetic,
Craig touches on its many themes that are as relevant now as they were then. Politics,
art, music, comics, typography, literature, philosophy and film, They Live represents a window into our ever-changing times. With a backdrop of Extinction Rebellion and Brexit, cultural commentators such as street artist Shepard Fairey, explore the film’s influence
and impact on our increasingly activist creative community as well as its relevance to us socially, culturally, and politically.

Listen to an irreverent and insightful design deconstruct of the film and its design references and learn how Craig explored the key visual influences in order to turn the film into a book. We’ll kick off with another brilliant warm-up act and round up with Q&A, book signing and drinks in the bar.

Join us.


Rough Trade was built to be different. A record label and shop that actively sought to establish a sense of community and co-operation, with old models of wealth accumulation and the exploitative market economics of the past’s interactions between corporations and artists being firmly rejected. Rough Trade shaped the next 40 years of independent music culture by insisting that a DIY sensibility (inspired by the Beats, by punk, by reggae sound system culture, and a democratic socialist political ethos) could be a viable alternative to the tyranny of the market.

The first Rough Trade record deals were fifty-fifty splits, creating relationships between artists and label that were based on fairness and transparency. They gave a platform to the often-marginalised voices in our culture.

Rough Trade Books aims to have a similar impact in publishing: a house that views its books as something far more than just a commodity, and which treats each work with the respect it deserves in its own time, not just as an artefact with a potential market.