There followed several weeks of hard work in turning imaginings into doings as we composed and circulated notices (open invitations to contribute) and invited specific individuals who we would like to contribute. As always, imaginings do not always translate into accomplishments and the process was a bit messy. But two months later we had both the form and the content. In fact we had so much content that I was forced to coin a new term ‘bookazine' - content of a book in the style of a magazine.
What is the work of imagination?
Put simply, the work of imagination is essential to being human. Just imagine a world without imagination. Humans would only develop culturally and technologically in line with what they stumbled across as they lived out their lives. They would not be able to think of things that did not yet exist, nor would they be able to connect up the dots and fill in the missing pieces in their world to understand how things fitted together, nor would they be able to go backwards in time to think about their experiences and draw from them deeper meanings. Humans would not develop and pass on wisdom that comes from their experience and reflecting on what it means without imagination and human civilisations would not be able to ‘advance’ or survive catastrophe without it. We would not have our religions, our art or our science, or stand any chance of tackling the wicked global problems that we encounter – the latest one of which is the pandemic and its social and economic consequences.
At a much humbler scale, the magazine and what it contains is the work of many imaginations and it represents a collective attempt to comprehend and make sense of the this wonderful facility that has evolved over billions of years through the growth and replication of life and mankinds cultivation of the mind and struggle to make sense of his existence.
So the work of imagination contributes in so many ways to making us who we are and over 30 contributors from 6 continents illustrate this through their perspectives and stories. We are delighted that so many people responded to our invitation to contribute to this thematic issue and share their imaginations, ideas, experiences and practices. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all our contributors who have enabled us to explore the work of imagination from many different angles, perspectives and contexts to help us make better sense of what it means to each and all of us. Out of this diverse collection of perspectives we grow the idea that the work of imagination is to inspire and enable us individually and collectively to form and transform ourselves and the world around us.
The magazine is free to download from the magazine page
1 A day in the life of my imagination. Blog post 29/05/20 http://www.normanjackson.co.uk/scraps-of-life-blog
azine’ – content of a book in the style of a magazine.