Obituary for Alice Cook: Remembering the life of Alice Cook

My friend Alice Cook, who passed away at the age of 70, was a psychotherapist, writer, feminist, and political activist. She dedicated her life to the field of health and wellness, particularly for women. For many years, she worked as a nurse and health visitor, managing various mental health projects in London. In 2010 and 2011, she also worked with mentally ill patients and community health aides in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka. However, she began to doubt the effectiveness of this volunteer work in such a different context and questioned whether her skills and experience could truly make a difference.

In 2016, Alice relocated to Stroud, Gloucestershire, where she established her own psychotherapy practice, utilizing her extensive knowledge and empathy. During the early 1980s, she actively participated in the Greenham Common women’s peace movement. Together, we authored the book “Greenham Women Everywhere” (1983), which aimed to shed light on the fear and anger that motivated women to take a stand against the nuclear arms race. Prior to that, Alice initiated a project centered on nuclear nightmares, inspired by her own dreams. She invited others to share their dreams through magazines like Sanity and Spare Rib, incorporating some of them into the book.

Several years later, a French translation of the book, “Des Femmes Contre des Missiles” (2016), introduced the Greenham movement to a younger generation. This led to the creation of the English-language documentary “Women Against the Bomb” (2021) by filmmaker Sonia Gonzalez for Arte TV, featuring Alice, myself, Clare Hudson, Rebecca Johnson, Ann Pettit, and others.

Alice drew parallels between the current fears of ecological disaster and the nightmares of nuclear catastrophe. She saw personal terror as a catalyst for public action, which she witnessed both in the Greenham movement and Extinction Rebellion, with which she was involved for a period of time. She firmly believed that the ideas and beliefs of the Greenham movement continue to hold power and relevance, extending beyond mere history or nostalgia.

She possessed a strong, independent spirit and was a fervent advocate for feminism. Additionally, she had a deep passion for reading. In recent years, she found joy in tending to her garden, which grew wilder as it climbed the steep hill behind her house. Sadly, her inquisitiveness about life, her dedication to women’s well-being, her creative endeavors, and her unfinished written works were abruptly halted by breast cancer.

Alice was born in Oxford to Iris (nee Golding), a music teacher, and Morris Cook, a history professor. After completing her secondary education, she pursued a BA in English at Sussex University, graduating in 1973. In 2002, she obtained a master’s degree in psychotherapy from the Minster Centre in London.

She is survived by her son, Jacob Cook, from her relationship with Mick Duffield.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *