London Overground

with director John Rogers


Wednesday 7th September at 6:45pm
The Institute of Light
Arch 376, 10 Helmlsey Place,
London E8 3SB [Map]

Tickets £5


In John Rogers‘ new film, London Overground (2016, 80 mins), legendary London writer Iain Sinclair reprises his journey on foot around the Overground railway first made for his 2015 book of the same name. Joined once again by filmmaker Andrew Kötting, the film also sees Iain walking with Chris Petit and Bill Parry-Davies on the 35 mile circular yomp. Iain describes the ‘Ginger Line’ as the ‘spin-drier of capitalism whirling bank notes around the city – a real moment to look at this city of unreal money’ where a new city is emerging. The recently completed Overground circuit provides ‘a tiny little map of what is happening now’ in London.

We’re pleased to be welcoming director John Rogers to introduce the film!


Alex Booker – Printmaker

Exhibition opening


Wednesday 7th September at 7pm
Pages of Hackney
70 Lower Clapton Road,
London E5 0RN [Map]


Alex Booker is a London-based print artist whose work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Royal Academy of Arts. He runs the Booker Print House from his studios in Limehouse, where he explores the properties of ink and wood in an ongoing series of experimental works, often inspired by ships, the sea and landscapes.


Among his many projects, Alex has led workshops during London Design Festival in 2015, at PATTERNITY’s ‘Superstripe Festival’ in 2014 and during the launch of Matter, the experimental materials exploration platform founded by Seetal Solanki.


All of the works on display at Pages of Hackney are original prints from various series’, including shipwrecks, compasses, landscapes and portraits, all of which are limited editions hand cut and printed on Japanese paper.

Join us for a glass of wine and an opportunity to meet Alex and hear more about his practice!


Strange Love

or how I learned to love the Germans

with Conor Creighton

Strange Love book jacket

Thursday 29th September at 7pm
Pages of Hackney
70 Lower Clapton Road,
London E5 0RN [Map]

Tickets £4

A first for Pages, and in defiance of our exit from the EU, we’ll be hosting an event for book that’s only available in German, which will include a performed reading in both German and English. Conor Creighton‘s Strange Love or: wie ich lernte die deutschen zu lieben is a dark, comic love letter to the migrant experience in modern Berlin. Hopes fade, dreams end, love lasts until it doesn’t and winter comes all too frequently. Jack’s journey through minimum wage Berlin unveils characters who are dark, comedic, melancholic and beatific in turns. All the barking, grinning tribes of Berlin, Neukölln. As he winds his way from nightclub bartender to German TV star he encounters the underbelly of German society and learns to embrace it. Not so much a coming of age but a coming of Deutsch novel. This will be a performed reading in German and English, featuring guest actors, soundscapes and text-based sculpture.

“A cracking read – by turns funny, absurd and biting – recommended for readers on both sides of the language barrier.” – Amy Liptrot


Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor

with Tim Lawrence, plus Downtown 81 screening


Friday 30th September at 7pm
The Institute of Light
Arch 376, 10 Helmlsey Place,
London E8 3SB [Map]

Please note: Tickets for Tim’s talk and the film screening are fully booked, however you can still join us in the bar from 10:30pm for Lucky Cloud Sound System DJs which will be free and open to all

Join us as we celebrate the release of Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor, 1980-1983 with a talk from Tim Lawrence, followed by a screening of Downtown 81 (2001, 72 mins) and music till late from from Lucky Cloud Sound System and Pete and Jeremy from BBE.

Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor, 1980-1983 (2016, Duke University Press): As the 1970s gave way to the 80s, New York’s party scene entered a ferociously inventive period characterized by its creativity, intensity, and hybridity. Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor chronicles this tumultuous time, charting the sonic and social eruptions that took place in the city’s subterranean party venues as well as the way they cultivated breakthrough movements in art, performance, video, and film. Interviewing DJs, party hosts, producers, musicians, artists, and dancers, Tim Lawrence illustrates how the relatively discrete post-disco, post-punk, and hip hop scenes became marked by their level of plurality, interaction, and convergence. He also explains how the shifting urban landscape of New York supported the cultural renaissance before gentrification, Reaganomics, corporate intrusion, and the spread of AIDS brought this gritty and protean time and place in American culture to a troubled denouement.

Tim Lawrence is Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of East London and the author of Love Saves the Day: A History of American Dance Music Culture, 1970–1979 and Hold On to Your Dreams: Arthur Russell and the Downtown Music Scene, 1973–1992, both also published by Duke University Press.

Downtown 81 (2001, Dir. Edo Bertoglio): Starring the legendary American painter, graffiti artist, poet and musician Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988), Downtown 81 is both a post-modernist fairytale and a vivid depiction of the downtown New York art and music scene in the early 1980s. The film chronicles a day in the life of a 19 year-old starving artist (Basquiat) who must raise money to reclaim the apartment from which he has been evicted. Hoping to sell a painting to earn the rent, he wanders the downtown streets, painting in hand, encountering painters, models, junkies, graffiti artists, rappers and rockers whose lives and performances provide a slice of life from one of the most exciting periods in American culture. A “lost” film, shot in 1981 but not completed and released until two decades later, Downtown 81 not only captures one of the twentieth century’s most interesting and lively artists in Basquiat, but also features music from many of leading musical artists of the era including Kid Creole and the Coconuts, Tuxedomoon, The Plastics, James White and the Blacks, The Lounge Lizards, and DNA.



A Walk in the Park

with Travis Elborough, plus Ace of Clubs screening

Wednesday 5th October at 6:45pm
The Institute of Light
Arch 376, 10 Hemlsey Place,
London E8 3SB [Map]

Tickets £5

Parks are such a familiar part of everyday life, you might be forgiven for thinking they have always been there – and that they always will. In fact, the roots of even the most humble neighbourhood park lie in age-old battles over land and liberty. From their medieval life as private royal hunting grounds and private estates to their modern incarnation as public spaces teeming with activity, acclaimed author Travis Elborough traces their extraordinary history in an illustrated talk based on his new book, A Walk in the Park, praised as ‘a fascinating, informative, revelatory book’ by William Boyd in The Guardian.

Ace of Clubs (2015, 13 mins) draws on the writer Travis Elborough’s investigations into the history of Victoria Park in East London, its many leisure clubs and the importance of the park as a recreational space. The film, shot by the acclaimed director Paul Kelly (How We Used to Live, Lawrence of Belgravia) during Elborough’s residency with the Chisenhale Gallery, includes interviews with members of Victoria Park’s model boating and bowling clubs and offers a wry mediation on hobbies, place, and belonging.

Described as ‘one of of Britain’s finest pop culture historians’ by The Guardian, Travis Elborough has been a freelance writer, author, broadcaster and cultural commentator for more than a decade, and frequently appears on BBC Radio 4 and Five Live. Elborough’s books include Wish You Were Here: England on Sea and The Long-Player Goodbye, a hymn to vinyl records that inspired the BBC4 documentary When Albums Ruled the Word.


Violent Borders

Refugees and the Right to Move

Monday 10th October at 7pm
Sutton House
2-4 Homerton High Street,
London E9 6JQ [Map]

Tickets £4

All proceeds from this event will be donated to Medecins Sans Frontieres

Forty thousand people died trying to cross international borders in the past decade, with the high-profile deaths along the shores of Europe only accounting for half of the tragic total.

Join us for a conversation between Reece Jones, author of Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move, Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi, who writes about British immigration policy, detention centres and women, and Daniel Trilling, currently writing a book about refugees, in which they examine how these deaths are not exceptional, but rather the result of state attempts to contain people from accessing a better future: the border itself produces the violence that surrounds it.

Inequalities across borders encourage the movement of people, goods, drugs, weapons, and money across it. While the poor are restricted by the lottery of birth to slum dwellings in the aftershocks of decolonization, the wealthy travel without constraint, exploiting pools of cheap labour and lax environmental regulations. With the growth of borders and resource enclosures, the deaths of migrants in search of a better life are intimately connected to climate change, environmental degradation, and the growth of global wealth inequality. Reece Jones’ research crosses the migrant trails of the world, documenting the billions of dollars spent on border security projects and their dire consequences for millions.


Pages of Hackney offers a series of readings, discussions, debates, screenings, art exhibitions, performances and parties. These events are well-attended so do pop into the shop or pay by PayPal in advance to guarantee a place. You can contact us on or 02085251452.

Events Highlights of the past

25 May 2016 Cathy Rentzenbrink and Max Porter discuss The Last Act of Love and Dylan Thomas prize winning Grief is the Thing with Feathers
11 May 2016
Rosie Walker and Samir Jeraj discuss The Rent Trap with Shiv Malik
4 May 2016
Ben Judah and Rowan Williams discuss London with Dave Hill
27 April 2016
Lynsey Hanley discusses Respectable with Mike Savage
7 April 2016
Julian Sayerer discusses Messengers
24 March 2016
Rebecca Mackenzie launches In a Land of Paper Gods
7 March 2016
Dawn Foster talks to Ash Sarkar about Lean Out
25 February 2016 
Amy Liptrot with Cathy Rentzenbrink on The Outrun
16 February 2016
Ken Worpole and Andrea Zimmerman on Building Jerusalem
11 December 2015
Winter Warmer: Our annual Klezmer music, mulled wine and mince pies
17th November 2015
Hackney Propaganda with Barry Burke and Ken Worpole
12 November 2015 Adelaide Miranda launches Bargained Soul
22 October 2015
 Life Cycles with Julian Sayarer
23rd September 2015 The Mythology of Work with Peter Fleming and Joanna Biggs, chaired by Dawn Foster
7 July 2015
Iain Sinclar in conversation with Mark Pilkington
29 April 2015 Curationism with David Balzer, chaired by Zoe Williams
15 April 2015 Rebel Footprints with David Rosenberg and Night Walking with Matthew Beaumont, chaired by Will Self
29 September 2014 The Establishment: and how they get away with it Owen Jones discusses his follow-up to Chavs with Melissa Benn
12 April 2014 What Should We Tell Our Daughters? With Melissa Benn, Nimco Ali, Kat Banyard and Zoe Williams
1 April 2014 Andy Merrifield in conversation with Owen Hatherley about The New Urban Question
10 March 2014 Ben Campkin talked with Dave Hill about Remaking London
20 June 2013 George Monbiot in conversation with Leo Hollis –Feral
8 November 2012 Daniel Trilling in conversation with Owen Jones about the far right – Bloody, Nasty People
16 October 2012 China Mieville in conversation with Suzanne Moore for London’s Overthrow
11 October 2012 Sarah Wise talked about madness in Victorian times – Inconvenient People
20 September 2012 Neil Fraser on Over the Border: The Other East End
19 July 2012 The Art of Dissent: Adventures in London’s Olympic State
4 July 2012 A People’s History of London with Lindsey German and John Rees
12 June 2012 The Bookshop Band performed downstairs in the 2nd hand book basement
22 May 2012 The Gentle Author and guests from Spitalifields Life
16 May 2012 Hackney Society launch for Hackney: An Uncommon History in Five Parts
3 May 2012 We launched the Hackney Anthology
8 March 2012 Margaret Willes on The Making of the English Gardner
25 January 2012 John Marriott on Beyond the Tower: A History of East London
26 July 2011  Iain Sinclair read from Ghost Milk
20 July 2011 Owen Jones discussed Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class
12 July 2011 China Mieville talked about Embassytown
1 June 2011 Ross Perlin came and talked about Intern Nation
12 May 2011 Cinnamon Press with Jeremy Worman and Sue Vickerman
20 April 2011 Michael Foley talked about The Age of Absurdity
5 April 2011 Estate talk
10 March 2011 Simon Garfield came to discuss Just My Type
9 February 2011 Jenny Lord came to show us how to knit ipod socks
20 January 2011 Towards Re-Enchantment: Place and Its Meanings with Iain Sinclair & Ken Worpole
16 December 2010 Winter Warmer: Our annual Klezmer music, mulled wine and mince pies
16 November 2010 Francis Spufford reading from Red Plenty
12 November 2010 Jonathan Kemp reading from London Triptych
3 November 2010 The Meaning of David Cameron? Richard Seymour
21 October 2010 Lived in London. Blue Plaques
13 October 2010 Ned Beauman read from Boxer, Beetle
12 October 2010 Anonymous writing collective Wu Ming came and talked about Manituana
7 October 2010 Rebecca Hunt read from her debut novel Mr Chartwell
29 September 2010 Rob Penn came to talk All About the Bike
23 September 2010 New Feminism and Reclaiming the F-Word with Kat Banyard and Catherine Redfern
8 September 2010 Dan Cruickshank talked about The Secret History of Georgian London
20 July 2010 Mark Hannam and Jo Wolff spoke about Southern Africa: Past and Future
14 July 2010 Nicholas Jubber talked about his book, Poets, Polymaths and Pleasure-Daughters: Drinking Arak off an Ayatollah’s Beard
8 July 2010 Private View for Luisa Alpalhao’s exhibition, 30 Days of Storytelling
6 July 2010 I R Charles read from her brilliant local book Under a Hackney Sky
30 June 2010 Mike Gerber spoke about Jazz Jews
27 June 2010 Cinnamon Press hosted their 2nd runaway success at Pages with a poetry afternoon including readings from local poet Claudia Jessop and international poets, Arlene Ang and Mark Fitzgerald
9 June 2010 Mike Marqusee talked with the Guardian’s Daphna Baram about his book If I Am Not for Myself
5 June 2010 Private View – Emerging Images by Valerie and Roger Dean
22 April 2010 Adam Foulds – the Booker shortlisted author of The Quickening Maze came to Pages
17 April 2010 Out of Step: A spoken word benefit for No Sweat
1 April – 31 May 2010 Amy Green Drawings – A Show of Small Gifts
25 March 2010 The Poetry of Healing: Medicine, Psychotherapy and the Arts A Dialogue with Iona Heath and Paul Gordon
5 – 31 March 2010 New Paintings by Alex Arnell – Private View
Pages Ruins February – A series of events on ruins
25 February 2010 Patrick Wright talked about A Journey Through Ruins: the last days of London
17 February 2010 Owen Hatherley talked about the ruins of urban regeneration
10 February 2010 ‘Ruins Tourism’ – Christopher Woodward talked with Ken Worpole
4 February 2010 Nick Haffner’s photographic exhibition opening for ‘Among the Ruins: Woolworths, Leytonstone, April 2009’
27 January 2010 One Million Tiny Plays About Britain, performed by author Craig Taylor and Co.
16 January 2010 Out of Step – an evening of Spoken Word
8 December 2009 Iain Sinclair and Bonnie Greer asked Is London British?
8 July 2009 Alain de Botton discussed The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work