Friday, February 12, 2010

Colin Ward

News has just broken that the writer Colin Ward has died. Colin's contribution to anarchism has been invaluable - he founded, edited and often wrote Anarchy magazine for over ten years. In Anarchy , and a whole series of books and hundreds of articles he wrote about the practical application of anarchist ideas to social organisation. and outlined anarchism as a sociological theory. He is probably best known for Anarchy in Action, but every book he wrote provided new insights into the revolutionary potential of the way ordinary people organise and live their lives in the face of enromous odds. His books, The Child in the City and The Child in the Country demonstrate how children shape and remake their environment. He was an untiring promoter of anarchist approaches to education, in books such as Talking Schools, and Streetwork: the Exploding School, but in fact there was little about social organisation that he neglected. He made a major contribution to anarchist appraches to housing, documenting the history of squatting and self-building.

He was a softly spoken man who was generous with his time towards other people, and who had the extraordinary gift of being able to explain complex ideas in a relaxed and easy-going style.

There is a more detailed appreciation on the Five Leaves Blog.