Flatpack Festival
Film for all the senses

Flatpack reading list, courtesy of Voce Books

Saturday 11th May, 2024

A very welcome addition to Digbeth in 2022, Voce Books can be found on Allison Street, a five minute walk from Moor St Station.

Stocking fiction, translations, poetry, titles on culture and politics, magazines, zines and a bit of art, Voce aims to inspire curiosity in books. Their eclectic selection coupled with a focus on boundary-defying work is, of course, right up our street, and we were delighted when the lovely Clive and Maria agreed to pull together a ‘reading list’ of sorts - inspired by this year’s festival programme.

That’s not even the best bit - anyone waving a Flatpack ticket in Voce Books during the festival will get 10% off anything in the shop.

A quick note from Clive Judd and Maria Lommuno Judd from Voce Books, before we dive into the reading list:

When we were asked if we would like to curate a reading list to accompany a selection of this year's Flatpack Festival films, we were delighted, not only by the opportunity to pair up with one of Birmingham's most important arts organisations, but also because recommendations are really the lifeblood of what we do here at Voce Books. It quite literally keeps us on the streets of Digbeth. But what makes for a good book recommendation? Sometimes it is literally a case of pairing like-for-like. If someone is searching for something that is like this other great book they read, it is our job to find the next one in the line, the book that is thematically, formally, stylistically similar. But another important role we play is in offering the sideways recommend, the book that is maybe only tangentially linked, or the leftfield suggestion that satisfies a reader's desire in a roundabout way but expands their readership into different lanes & avenues. We've taken both approaches when compiling this wide-ranging Flatpack Festival reading list. Some books make immediate sense when seen in conjunction with a film's subject matter, approach or style. Others come at these eclectic films with an equally eclectic sensibility, the sideways suggestion as alluded to above. But all-in-all we hope they reflect the great world literature there is out there at the moment, in support of the thoughtfully curated, & world-focused programme at Flatpack Festival 2024. 

Reading List

You can also browse the Flatpack selection on Bookshop.org (10% off is already applied here), and read on to see which events inspired which book choices.

Choice inspired by: People Like Us’ performance Library of Babel

  • Shadow Lines: Searching For the Book Beyond the Shelf, by Nicholas Royle

Choices inspired by: R21: aka Restoring Solidarity + Bint Mbareh

  • Palestine +100: Stories from a century after the Nakba, edited by Basma Ghalayini
  • Minor Detail, by Adania Shibli
  • The Hundred Years' War on Palestine, by Rashid I. Khalidi
  • Palestinian Walks: Notes on a Vanishing Landscape, by Raja Shehadeh

Choices inspired by: Short Film Competition: Be Kind, Unwind

  • How To Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, by Jenny Odell
  • Saving Time: Discovering a Life Beyond the Clock, by Jenny Odell

Choice inspired by: Short Film Competition: Artistic License

  • Ordinary Notes by Christina Sharpe

Choice inspired by: Short Film Competition: The Space Between

  • Seven Empty Houses, by Samanta Schweblin

Choice inspired by: Short Film Competition: Beneath your Feet

  • How Did We Get Into This Mess?: Politics, Equality, Nature, by George Monbiot
  • The Case for Nature: Pioneering Solutions for A Planetary Crisis, by Siddarth Shrikanth

Choices inspired by: Short Film Competition: Flesh & Bone

  • Art Monsters: Unruly Bodies in Feminist Art, by Lauren Elkin
  • Disobedient Bodies: Reclaim Your Unruly Beauty, by Emma Dabiri

Choices inspired by: And The King Said, What A Fantastic Machine

  • Push Process, by Jonathan Walker
  • Still Pictures: On Photography and Memory, by Janet Malcolm
  • Pariah Genius, by Iain Sinclair

Choices inspired by: An Ode To Viking: Absolute Film + Live Scores

  • The Singularity, by BALSAM KARAM
  • Purity, by Andrzej Tichy
  • Strega, by Johanne Lykke Holm

Choice inspired by: South Asian Solarpunk

  • A Psalm for the Wild-Built, by Becky Chambers

Choice inspired by: Speaking Back

  • The Lost Chronicle: 2004-2009, by Polarbear

Choice inspired by: Minds & Machines: Creativity and AI

  • The Eye of the Master: A Social History of Artificial Intelligence, by Matteo Pasquinelli

Choices inspired by: Digbeth Reanimated

  • Where Furnaces Burn, by Joel Lane
  • 111 Places in Birmingham That You Shouldn't Miss, by Ben Waddington

Choice inspired by: Usaginingen: Black Kite - Pulsation of Souls

  • How to Blow Up a Pipeline: Learning to Fight in a World on Fire, by Andreas Malm

Choice inspired by: Ahfiwe Cinema Presents: Praise Train

  • As Serious As Your Life: Black Music and the Free Jazz Revolution, 1957–1977, by Val Wilmer

All books are available to buy in store and online - happy reading!

Join our mailing list

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required