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Jim’s Edinburgh Festival

I am currently cataloguing Jim’s newsletters. He sent these to friends every few months and always did a ‘special issue’ on his trips to the Edinburgh Festival. But 1988 was a particularly bumper year – six pages of plays seen, films watched, friends met and taxis taken. Only the first two page are shown here – get in touch if you want to see the rest.

So if you are not exhausted enough by your own Edinburgh exploits, live vicariously through Jim’s!

A chance to see ‘Meeting Jim’ at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Venue and occasion couldn’t be more appropriate. The film is being shown in George Square. Just round the corner, on Charles Street (at the sign of the rhinoceros head), was The Paperback Bookshop which Jim owned. The basement was a popular fringe venue from as early as 1960. And as co-founder of the Traverse Theatre, which remains one of the cornerstones of the Fringe, Jim’s place in Fringe history is assured.

Fittingly, given the international nature of Jim’s networking, the film is a Turkish, Spanish, German, UK and Cuban co-production by a group of friends who met in 2015 at one of Jim’s legendary Sunday dinners. Directed by Ece Ger, the film was shown at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2018 and was nominated for best documentary film.

Assembly George Square Studios – ‘Meeting Jim’ – on Monday 12th August at 8.30pm.

Thanks for Coming!

Jim, c1970

Welcome to the first blog post for the Jim Haynes Living Archive Project! Jim is all about connecting with people so hopefully this blog will make some new connections.

 So who was Jim Haynes? Below is a very short biography. If you want more then have a look at his website:

1933 – Jim is born in Louisiana, USA

1955 – enlists in the US Air Force and is posted to the base at Kirknewton outside Edinburgh

1959 – leaves the air force and opens The Paperback Bookshop in Edinburgh which becomes a theatre venue and gallery space

1962 – helps organise the International Writers Conference attended by Muriel Spark, Norman Mailer and others

1963 – co-founds the Traverse Theatre Club

1966 – moves to London and opens the London Traverse and is on the editorial board of the underground newspaper International Times (IT)

1967 – founds the Arts Lab on Drury Lane

1969 – launches the sexual freedom paper Suck and moves to Paris. Teaches media studies and sexual politics at the University of Paris 8 in the Bois de Vincennes for the next 29 years

1971 – becomes a representative of the World Government movement

1974 – publishes Hello I Love You – a celebration of sexual liberation

1978 – starts his Sunday salon dinners which are open to the world

1980 – launches Handshake editions

1984 – Faber and Faber publish his participatory autobiography ‘Thanks for Coming!’

1988 – starts publishing the People to People travel directories

1988 – starts publishing the People to People travel directories

2002 – starts to use his Paris atelier as a gallery

2016 – appears as a live exhibit in a V&A exhibition about the 1960s

2019 – still lives in his Paris atelier and still hosts his Sunday dinners

Jim at a Sunday dinner, c2000

Future blogs will look at particular eras of Jim’s life  and some of his interests. We might also feature guest blogs from archives with other counterculture collections. So watch this space!





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