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The Apocalypse Reading Room

Ama Josephine Budge

An installation of books for all ages, exploring ways to reimagine our futures

The Apocalypse Reading Room at Free Word Centre. Original graphic design: Denny Kaulbach; Photography: Rowan Spray

Explore the The Apocalypse Reading Room in person at Toynbee Studios from 1 July – 30 September 2021 in the Arts Bar & Café. This post-apocalyptic library installation is filled with books for all ages and you’re invited to come and read books exploring ways to build, transform, rethink, rewrite and reimagine our futures. 

Curated by Ama Josephine Budge, the library is a world of talking stories in the face of environmental and social collapse and a gathering of all the books we might need to change the end of the world.

The Apocalypse Reading Room will be activated by two artists, Lateisha Davine Lovelace-Hanson and Mohammed Z Rahman, who are taking part in a three-month long residency programme and a series of public events.

You can still watch the digital version of The Apocalypse Reading Room: Room2Room, created in summer 2020, where guests were invited to read a section of their apocalypse survival guide from their favourite reading rooms. The readers included Nii Obodai, Victoria Sin, Pratibha Parmar, Kai-Isaiah Jamal, Ama Josephine Budge, Theodora Omambala.

The installation of The Apocalypse Reading Room at Toynbee Studios and residencies are produced and supported by Artsadmin, and are part of Season for Change, a national programme celebrating the environment and inspiring climate action in partnership with Julie’s Bicycle. This residencies are supported by BE PART and the installation is support by ACT, through the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.

The Apocalypse Reading Room is supported from Future’s Venture Foundation, first realised in partnership with Free Word for their All The Ways We Can Grow season in 2019. Created with additional support from The Reading Agency, and donations by Housman’s Radical Bookshop, Skin Deep magazine and various publishers including Harper Collins, Hachette Children’s Group and Walker.

A virtual installation was realised in 2020 with support from Artsadmin, Bernie Grant Art Centre, Free Word, Future’s Ventures Foundation and Julie’s Bicycle.

  • The Arts Bar & Café is wheelchair accessible and there is a wheelchair accessible toilets. Read more about Accessibility at Toynbee Studios.
  • All toilets at Toynbee Studios are gender neutral.
  • There is outdoor and distanced indoor seating.
  • Please email if you have any further access requests.

Date and time

1 July – 30 September 2021
Open Mon-Fri 10.30am-2.30pm; Saturday 3 July, 7 August, 4 September, 12-6pm, and during public events


Free. No booking is required.


Toynbee Studios
28 Commercial Street
London, E1 6AB
Tel: 020 7247 5102
Plan your visit