Flashback: Parties For The People By The People - Alex Zawadzki, Anna Wood, Balraj Singh, Jamie Holman and Adelle Stripe
Unique as the moment that inspired it, this publication is a response to the Flashback archive that was created in 2019 to capture the memories of the rave party scene in Blackburn, Lancashire.
Flashback: Parties for the People by the People tells the story of the infamous Blackburn Acid House ‘parties’, the vital part this moment of counter-cultural history has played in the social, economic and cultural lives of the area itself, and more broadly, of the country as a whole. Taking in the post-industrial landscape of the area, the impact of years of regressive politics, both local and national, the confluence of football hooligans, casuals, gang violence, and eventually, the dispersal of all that into the culture of the parties and the emergent ecstasy boom, this is a complicated rendering of both time and place, told through multiple, diverse voices, and through a combination of reportage, fiction, poetry and oral history.
This set is made up of three pamphlets and a fold-out.
Pamphlet 1 Spit, Sawdust and Spirit: The Ingenious Players in Blackburn's Acid House Parties by Alex Zawadzki Spit, Sawdust and Spirit works as a playbill of imagined characters, buried deep into the underbelly of Blackburn, and beyond illegal parties.
Pamphlet 2 Thesis Flashback by Balraj Singh Thesis Flashback re-examines an academic dissertation written by Balraj Singh. Singh—a Sikh Blackburner known locally as Bob—found himself navigating the fringes of gangs, housing estate boundaries, illegal parties, subcultures and street violence through the acid house era.
Pamphlet 3 Howling Roughs by Jamie Holman Howling Roughs is a literary collage, a constructed narrative created from interviews with leading participants in the arc of football hooliganism, international shoplifting and the Blackburn Parties. A Place Called Bliss by Adelle Stripe A Place Called Bliss tells the story of two friends and their doomed attempt to escape their own quotidian drudge and try for the ecstatic promise of the parties in the neighbouring county of Lancashire that had started to become legendary.
Fold-Out Blackburn Love: A Blueprint by Dorothy A brief history of the Blackburn parties set to the imagined footprint of Ewood Mill. The content on this blueprint has been largely sourced from the archive of the Acid House Flashback website—an oral history project created to capture people's memories of the Blackburn parties. As with all oral history projects, contributor’s memories can be hazy. Specific details such as dates are correct to the best of our knowledge.
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