EMERGING AND CONVERGING!
On 16th September 2006 we held an event to celebrate the fortieth year of Resurgence – quite some feat in the publishing world, where magazines come and go like the seasons. But Resurgence has stood the test of time because it has always been at the cutting edge of new and radical thinking about the issues that affect our lives. For example, in Resurgence we vouched for the importance of good school meals long before Jamie Oliver, and at the celebration, students from The Small School – which was founded by Resurgence editor, Satish Kumar – prepared and served a delicious, wholesome and locally sourced meal for the 650 attendees.
The Guardian has called Resurgence “the artistic and spiritual flagship of the green movement” and it was heartening for the event to be sponsored by so many important ‘green’ organisations. Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, the Soil Association, WWF, the Green Party, the Centre for Alternative Technology, Oxfam and many more were represented, and Garden Organic even brought in some wheelbarrows of compost to remind us during our philosophical pursuits that we are utterly dependent on the thin layer of soil that connects us all.
A lot has happened in the forty years since Resurgence was founded. At that time, many of the eminent organisations that were represented at the celebration did not exist – Resurgence galvanised the spirit of the 1960s and offered a platform for profound thinkers and writers such as Leopold Kohr, E. F. Schumacher and Ivan Illich to inspire us to action. With Satish Kumar at the helm as Editor for the past thirty-three years, the magazine has become the place where the green movement thinks aloud.
The speakers who addressed the conference all acknowledged that a great deal has been achieved in forty years – who would have thought that the Conservative leader would be espousing his green credentials? But we cannot rest on our laurels. We are faced with many critical issues, and Resurgence needs to be equally challenging and radical in the next forty years.
We are publishing the speech given by Annie Lennox in this issue. We hope you will find it as inspiring as it was on the day she delivered it. Jonathon Porritt, who also spoke at the celebration, admitted to having every single issue of Resurgence and acknowledged that the magazine has been an important focus in his life. George Monbiot who, true to his beliefs, cycled to and from the event, warned us to look beyond the ‘greenwash’ of the petrochemical corporations who are desperately trying to redefine themselves in the era of climate change. And Deepak Chopra suggested that there is “no such thing as ‘The Environment’”. He believes that if we called a tree “my lungs” or a river “my circulatory system” or the atmosphere “my breath”, then we would be much less likely to destroy them. We have to stop seeing the environment as “out there”, he said, and see it as an intrinsic part of us; that which connects us all.
Ultimately, the day of celebration was about ‘connectivity’: old friends connecting and new friendships
emerging, ideas and organisations converging. We realised that our sum is stronger than our parts and that if we make alliances, and work together, another world really is possible. Fittingly, as Gandhi has always been such a major influence on Resurgence, his words rang out from many quarters during the day: “We have to be the change we wish to see in the world.”
Lorna Howarth is Co-editor of Resurgence, trustee of The Yarner Trust, and adviser to Artists’ Project Earth.