Beauty and Imagination
The Moral Economy
Tribute to Anita Roddick
Beauty and Imagination
Article image credit: Anita Roddick Photograph: Adrian Brooks/PA Wire/PA Photos
BEAUTY & IMAGINATION Bringing beauty into public spaces.
IT IS WITH a great sense of loss that we dedicate this issue of Resurgence to our dear friend and long-time supporter Anita Roddick, who died unexpectedly on 10th September 2007. It was Anita who had the idea for this issue’s feature on ‘The Moral Economy’. She talked to us at length about the need to evolve as individuals and societies to embrace a new set of values – those that respect creativity, imagination and beauty.
Anita’s own life reflected this message: her creativity gave rise to one of the most innovative, precedent-setting companies of the 20th century, which raised the bar for ethical and corporate social responsibility. One of the many joys of being in Anita’s company were her incredible flights of imagination: she had the ability to easily deconstruct a particular problem or issue and come up with the most astonishing solutions – ones that at first seemed unrealistic or even downright crazy, but that turned out to be ground-breaking and visionary. To Anita, nothing was impossible. She was able to ‘think outside the box’ and challenged ‘authority’ at all levels. If she was told that something could not be done, in her unique way and with colourful language she would ask, “Why the hell not?” And she would go and do it.
Anita Roddick intuitively understood that humanity will never be able to solve the many problems it faces with the same mindset that created them. She knew that imagination is the key to a sustainable, equitable future on this planet and that beauty is the key to a joyful and creative life. Her article in this issue is, sadly, the last she will write for Resurgence. We will sorely miss her voice of wisdom and her rebellious spirit. So, it is fitting that her last testament should be a call to beauty: that in order for life to be joyful and meaningful, it should also be beautiful. Anita raged against the ugliness of industrial society both physically and spiritually and it was her wish that humanity should seek out and celebrate the beauty that is life.
THE RESURGENCE TEAM