Welcome to Peace News, the newspaper for the UK grassroots peace and justice movement. We seek to oppose all forms of violence, and to create positive change based on cooperation and responsibility. See more

"Peace News has compiled an exemplary record... its tasks have never been more critically important than they are today." Noam Chomsky

  • facebook
  • rss
  • twitter

' Personally Speaking: Colin Ward in Conversation with Roger Deakin'

Dibb Directions Ltd, 2009; 155 minutes; £12; available from Housmans Bookshop: 020 7837 4473 or www.housmans.com

Filmed in 2003, this DVD records a fascinating extended conversation between veteran anarchist Colin Ward and writer/film-maker Roger Deakin. Sadly both the protagonists are no longer with us, making this film especially poignant and valuable.

It’s more of an interview than a true conversation, with Deakin asking the questions and Ward speaking at length, always with energy and lucidity and barely a pause for breath.

Topics covered include Ward’s introduction to anarchism during the Second World War, involvement with Freedom Press, editing Anarchy in the 1960s, and the many areas in which he sought to apply anarchist ideas from architecture to allotments.

Highlights for me included reminiscences of Orwell (“tall and thin with big feet”) and the guided tour of Ward’s study!

Unlike some other alternative DVDs, production standards are good, with excellent sound quality, thoughtful editing, and a helpful chapter menu.

I was initially unsure about the handheld camera work but I grew to like it. Indeed, I think it adds a vital sense of movement and life that makes the whole thing work as a visual piece rather than pure spoken word.

It’s well worth watching, giving a great sense of the far-reaching legacy of Ward’s very full life and a reminder of the relevance and pervasiveness of anarchist ideas despite their limited profile in the mainstream.

Topics: Anarchism