The word that was in my mind the most as I walked Venice’s narrow streets was ‘curiosity’. No conversation about imagination can happen without an exploration of curiosity, as it is the precursor to imagination. I had travelled to Venice reading Ian Leslie’s book ‘Curiosity: the desire to know and why your future depends on it’, and it turned out to be the perfect reading material, better than any Venice guidebook.
Shaun Hill is the founder and CEO of Hill Farmstead in Vermont, who are, for me, one of the most imaginative breweries in the world. Based on the farm that has been home to his family for over 230 years, Hill Farmstead’s mission statement is “to hand craft succinct, elegant beers of distinction and to revive and diversify the farmscape of the Hill Farmstead in Greensboro”.
When we look at some of the big political moves on either side of the Atlantic in the last few years, actually one of the things we’re seeing is a yearning for story. When we are really impoverished, we will take a big lie with a little bit of truth in it, rather than nothing at all.
It can’t be like “We need a policy for a rewilded childhood”, because we could be waiting forever, and that ain’t going to happen. And we haven’t got time to wait forever I don’t believe. So it’s what do we all do to rewild our own family, our own community, our own school?
What could you catalyse where you live that would act in the same way? How could your community, your place, tell a story about what the future could be, a story that burns in bright colours? Because goodness knows we need those.
For me, one of the real felt realities of the last 12 months, in the geo-political world, is that we see that human beings are so frightened of being without a story that they would rather go back to a story they know is broke, than move into an un-storied space.
It is no accident that we use the same vocabulary to describe the act of assembling words——as to magically influence events and the conditions of reality—to cast a spell.
•The Perennially "Unusual" Yet Somehow Ubiquitous Left-Right Alliance: Towards Acknowledging an Anti-Establishment Center
•The Death of Imagination
•Towards Peaceful Adaptation
If we create and recreate the world everyday, then how has it become so supposedly absurd to believe we might actually create a world that is honestly making the possibilities of egalitarianism, justice and democracy?