The Big Family Press

Big Family Press publications

The Big Family Press with OOMK, 2018, Photograph: Manuela Barczewski

The Big Family Press is a community printing press developed with children aged 4 - 12 in after-school care at Oliver Goldsmith Primary School, Camberwell.

The group meets weekly during term-time to collaborate with artists on a range of creative and critical activities using DIY publishing. On the first Saturday of every month at the South London Gallery Fire Station, children and their families are invited to join the Big Family Press to learn how to Riso print, share their stories and make a publication for the archive. The Big Family Press draws on the radical pedagogy of Celestin Freinet’s l’École Moderne (The Modern School), established in France in 1947. Freinet’s Modern Schools placed an emphasis on child-led learning by situating a printing press within the school and supporting children to use it to publish their experiences and insights through the development of internally circulated publications.

Risograph (Riso) is a quick, cheap and environmentally friendly way of printing publications, such as pamphlets, posters and DIY magazines (zines). Riso functions like a cross between a photocopier and a screen printer, using recyclable banana-paper stencils and soy-based ink to produce striking and colourful publications.

The inaugural Big Family Press commission was led by artists’ collective One of My Kind (OOMK) from September 2017 – May 2018. To read more click here.

In Autumn 2018, artist Rosalie Schweiker turned the Big Family Press into a fully-functioning Post Office. To read more click here.

The Big Family Press is commissioned through the South London Gallery’s critical heritage programme, Evidence of Us.

Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Southwark Council’s Neighbourhoods Fund.

With thanks to Rachel Salmon, Rose Moses and the staff at Oliver Goldsmith Primary School, Camberwell.