The University of Northampton has hosted a special two-day conference to celebrate 50 years of the anti-fascist Searchlight Organisation, which still publishes a monthly magazine.
The conference was organised in partnership with the Northamptonshire Rights and Equality Council and looked back on the history of the Searchlight organisation and the transnational links of the anti-fascist networks.
Guest speakers included Andy Bell, formerdeputy editor at Panorama, and producer at World in Action, Gerry Gable, editor of Searchlight magazine and playwright, David Edgar.
Dr Paul Jackson, Senior Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Northampton commented: “The Searchlight Organisation has tirelessly fought against racism and extremism in Britain, often gaining very little wider recognition for its vital contribution to establishing positive multi-cultural values. The University of Northampton is very proud to be able to continue its ongoing partnership with Searchlight by hosting this conference, which not only looked back on both previous battles, but looked forwards too, identifying the forces that continue to promote prejudice and hatred in today’s society.”
The University of Northampton is also home to the Searchlight Archive, which offers a wide range of materialdocumenting the activities of British and international fascist and racist organisations, which has been collected by the anti-fascist Searchlight magazine since the 1960s.
Gerry Gable commented: “The conference went very well and did what it intended to do. We had colleagues over from America, Sweden, Ireland and Greece so it had a good international flavour to it. I was really heightened that at the end of the first session on the first day so many hands went up and we were running out of time as there was so many questions.
“We have an ongoing relationship with the University so we’ll definitely be back again!”