Centre Director Dr Richard Howells has had the unusual pleasure of lunch with fashion doyenne Vivienne Westwood. They met at the annual convocation of the Royal College of Art, where Dame Vivienne had just received an honorary degree. The two found themselves sharing a table, and as the meal progressed the celebrated designer was particularly keen to talk about her new “Active Resistance to Propaganda” campaign and pressed a manifesto into Richard’s comparatively unstylish hand.
The manifesto takes the form of a dramatised conversation between characters including Alice (as in Wonderland), Pinocchio, Aristotle and Westwood herself. It’s all about the importance of art, the need for culture – and both as the antidote to propaganda. She concludes: “If you follow it your life will change. In the pursuit of culture you will start to think. If you change your life, you change the world.”
Many of the concepts included will not be unfamiliar to students of the MA in Cultural and Creative Industries, a number of whom would have been amused to see their programme director discussing Frankfurt Theory with the woman credited both as a progenitor of punk and the designer of Carrie Bradshaw’s wedding dress in Sex and the City.
And the manifesto? Check it out for yourself at http://www.activeresistance.com Comments welcomed!