Publishers and writers must rally together to protect and fight for the “cosmopolitan, heterogeneous and inclusive future of the UK” following the “profound crisis” triggered by Brexit, independent publisher Influx Press has said.
In a statement published on the press’ website, Influx decried the British politics which has "failed to adequately challenge xenophobia, racism and intolerance", and emphasised the importance of "publishing the voices of those who are under threat from racist violence and xenophobia" and "amplifying others who publish these voices too".
"We are exiting the European Union, which for all its faults has been a wonderful facilitator for cultural exchange with our brothers and sisters on the continent", the statement said. "Regardless of how you think our political parties should progress, we are sure we can all agree that the most pressing issue we face as writers, publishers and cultural producers is protecting and fighting for the cosmopolitan, heterogeneous and inclusive future of the UK. We must fight for the margins, with the unheard, and alongside those who want the same fundamentally plural society we have managed to create in large parts of this country. We must continue to forge cultural relationships with Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia. We must challenge cultural fascism at every turn."
The press, which consists of three members of staff: editors Kit Caless and Gary Budden, and editorial assistant Sanya Semakula - promised to form "greater connections and bonds" with fellow independent publishers and celebrate work in translation by supporting writers and publishers who work to bring other cultures to the UK.
The statement continued: "We promise to continue to publish the work of those who are fighting for an alternative future; one which seeks genuine equality and justice. We promise to continue publishing fiction, nonfiction and poetry that interrogates the common perceptions of the UK’s past. We promise to continue to highlight the alternative cultures that exist in this country that are drowned out by misconception of ‘British Values’. There is much to celebrate in the UK, it is important to remember this."
"We are on the fringes of the industry, but we are not without influence. We are not full time publishers, but we are fully engaged. We are European citizens of the UK and we are not willing to let this country stagger towards a spiteful, vicious and intolerant future without putting up a fight."
Fellow independent publishers including And Other Stories, Penned in the Margins, Bluemoose and Fitzcarraldo Editions have shown support for the statement on Twitter.