CALL FOR SUPPORT: translation and publication of Emma Goldman’s “Living my life” in Russian


emmaThe publishing cooperative Radical Theory & Practice from Moscow has initiated a new project: translating Emma Goldman’s autobiography “Living My Life” into Russian and printing it for distribution. This will be the first ever, integral translation of the work into Russian; three abridged chapters were translated in 2009 by Sharapov*. This work consists of 56 chapters in which Goldman describes her political and personal life: her childhood, her time in Russia and reflections on the Russian Revolution, going on till 1927. The book was first published in English in two parts in 1931 and 1934, and has been reissued several times since, and translated into many other languages, but never into Russian.

This text is relevant not only as part of the body of libertarian and feminist works on theory & practice, but also for  historians, social scientists and feminists outside in all of the post-soviet countries. Such a translation will find an audience in
Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Georgia and further on amongst Russian readers.

Why do we want to translate Emma Goldman’s Living My Life?

Emma Goldman, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Berkman, Makhno all had their origins in the Russian Empire. They are part of a common history, local and international. Goldman’s autobiography provides an accessible, first-hand account of 20th century and is an important primary resource that Russian readers haven’t had a chance to make use of till now.

But more than just a resource we see it as a way to give power and focus to the feminist struggles in the exUSSR. As the local situation worsens for anyone opposing norms and tradition, with heavy conflicts arising even within the social movements, it is important to show that feminism, anti-sexism, personal bodily autonomy have always been part of our common fight against oppression.

Financial support – For WHAT?

Radical Theory & Practice is one of few alternative publishing projects in Russia. It exists since 2008 as a group of people who publish a few books yearly at varying intervals (a full list of our publications is attached below). Some of these books have been the result of collaborative translation. As of last year this structure was reorganized and a cooperative was born with a stronger commitment to knowledge distribution. Thus far we have self-financed all of our publications, but within this new structure we will pay cooperative members for their share of the work. Such a structure offers long-term sustainability for ourselves and our projects; in 2013 we published five books, but by the end of 2014 we are planning to publish nine books. However, we are facing some big financial hurdles, and currently have 3000 euros in the minus column. We do not want to stop working on the project due to profit margins or lack thereof, but as most of us are fully employed within the cooperative we need to ensure our daily costs are covered.

Another challenge we face is dealing with the legal system. In Russia there’s a package of laws against extremism, including the banning of extremist texts. Unsurprisingly, some anarchist magazines and books have already been found extremist and were banned from shops and distribution networks (such as several issues of the Avtonom Journal**). Currently some of the books we have published are being reviewed by experts on extremism. So far no results.

Any financial support would relieve us from having to constantly put in our own money to support the costs of putting out books and give us more time to focus on the said books.

In terms of the Emma Goldman – Living My Life book project costs we are estimating a total of 18 000 euros, including printing. We believe the translation process, including proofreading will take at least a year. Of course, we hope this money will pay off one day, but in our context it can take up to several years.

The project will go ahead even if our fundraising does not manage to cover all costs, however all donations will be greatly appreciated.

We are going to publish newly translated chapters on our blog http:/

If you would like to make a donation or support our cooperative in any way here are some suggestions:
– make a direct transfer into our account (see below)
– organize a fundraiser or benefit party to support our project
– talk to your local feminist groups asking for smaller donations
– tell us about any foundation you know that supports publications

LAST BUT NOT LEAST: We welcome absolutely all help (advice, information, suggestions, etc.). Feel free to contact us by writing in English, German, Polish or Russian.

Account holder: Alarm e.v
Bank: Sparkasse Offenburg
Reference: Belarus. Moscow Radical Theory & Practice
IBAN: DE26 6645 0050 0004 8736 51


Peter Gelderloos “Consensus: A New Handbook for Grassroots Social,
Political, and Environmental Groups.”
Ihar Alinevich “On the Way to Magadan”
Alexandr Volodarski “Chemistry”
Seeds for Change “Consensus Handbook”
Some of our publications are available here

*Translation is available here

**More information and a call for solidarity with the Avtonom magazine