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The Apocalypse Reading Room

Ama Josephine Budge

person sitting on an armchair reading a book, wearing a mask. They are surrounded by plants, books and lamps
The Apocalypse Reading Room by Ama Josephine Budge at Toynbee Studios. Photo by Bettina Adela

The Apocalypse Reading Room is an installation by speculative writer and artist Ama Josephine Budge: an on-site library, a world of talking stories in the face of environmental and social transformation, a gathering of all the books we might need to change the end of the world…

The Apocalypse Reading Room transforms a public arts space into a post-apocalyptic library installation filled with books for all ages, exploring ways to build, transform, rethink, rewrite and reimagine our futures. 

The reading room was at Toynbee Studios from 1 July – 30 September 2021 in the Arts Bar & Cafe. The installation was activated by two artists, Lateisha Davine Lovelace-Hanson and Mohammed Z Rahman, who were selected for a three-month long residency programme, a series of public events and writing blogs:

Engage online

Artsadmin · The Apocalypse Reading Room

Listen to recordings of talks with residency artists, Ama and invited guests on our Soundcloud.

In summer 2020, we presented a digital version of The Apocalypse Reading Room: Room2Room with online readings published weekly. Guests – including Nii Obodai, Victoria Sin, Pratibha Parmar, Kai-Isaiah Jamal, Ama Josephine Budge, Theodora Omambala – were invited to read a section of their apocalypse survival guide from their favourite reading rooms: nooks, living rooms, bedrooms, attics, garages, closets, stairwells and basements.

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.

For more information on this project, please contact Mary Osborn at mary@artsadmin.co.uk

Date Title Venue City
25 September 2021 Ama Josephine Budge in the Reading Room with Access Support
18 September 2021 Ama Josephine Budge in the Reading Room with Access Support
9 September 2021 Sharings from the Apocalypse Reading Room A park in east London (exact location will be revealed soon!) London
1–30 September 2021 The Apocalypse Reading Room: Audio Description
26 August 2021 The Apocalypse Reading Room Residency Sharing Your local park London
19 August 2021 The Apocalypse Reading Room Residency Sharing Your local park London
17 July 2021 Nocturnal Creatures
1 July – 30 September 2021 The Apocalypse Reading Room
28 July – 11 September 2020 The Apocalypse Reading Room: Room2Room
person sitting on an armchair reading a book, wearing a mask. They are surrounded by plants, books and lamps
The Apocalypse Reading Room by Ama Josephine Budge at Toynbee Studios. Photo by Bettina Adela
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