Now a movement to make literature a pursuit of even the common man

Updated: 10 December, 2017 15:30 IST | Kusumita Das | Mumbai

Join a movement that breaks the high walls to make literature accessible to the aam junta

While literature has often been accused of being an "elite" pursuit, here's something that is attempting to take it to the streets, literally. Stick.Lit is a movement started by an Indian writer and artist duo, that is gaining traction around the world. The initiative that is just about three months old, and is already making waves in London, Amsterdam, besides India, of course. It involves people sending their writings, could be originals, or quotes from stories they like, verses, and even art — just about anything that gives vent to their creative side.

Making literature an everymans pursuit

These works are then stuck all around public places, on walls, post boxes, or whatever empty surface opens up. Of course, there's no guarantee how long before those paper prints of self-expression are ripped off. But, as Manoj Pandey, co-creator of Stick.Lit says, it is about expression, and not preservation. "In publishing lingo, there's something called the slush pile — it's the pile of writings that never gets looked at. We feel this high wall needs to be broken to some extent. Why should institutions always be the ones deciding the fate of art?" A few months ago, he was having this discussion over coffee, with Nidhin Kundathil, art director and his partner in the initiative. "It's about giving control to the people, and, unlike institutions, take the focus away from the commerce part of things," says Pandey.

Making literature an everymans pursuit

On a daily basis, they receive hundreds of contributions in the form of words and pictures. "We have an anonymous network of writers and artists, called ANTI. We take the contributions that we get, incorporate it within the format we have and put it out," he adds. No editing or sorting is involved in the process, as "that would go against the idea". So, every piece of contribution that they receive is put out.

Making literature an everymans pursuit

"Why cannot a piece on existentialism be stuck in a rickshaw stand? As bizarre that might sound, see it this way. When a Kafka or a Camus wrote those works, they did not mean for it to be read by a select audience. As writers, they wanted their work to be read by all. I am not against publishing houses. They are doing their job. But, ours is an effort to make the entire exercise more democratic.

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First Published: 10 December, 2017 11:47 IST

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