SURFACES was a micro-project that emerged from the city-studio process. It was intended both as a demonstration and an experiment with modes and strategies of publication that appear to be, for various reasons, surprisingly rare in the contemporary Indian context.
Its aims were several:
--To connect young visual arts practitioners (and their publics) with their contemporaries in poetry;
--to create an event that integrally links the performance and print publication of poetry;
--to link contemporary Hindi and English writing in a bilingual event;
--to expand the idea of publication by producing a limited edition artists’ and poets’ book “in house” (without outsourcing to a printer) in a very short time (one week), on a minimal budget, investigating what it means to collectively produce a “hand-made” book in the contemporary Indian context.
The chapbook, produced in an edition of 100 copies, places visual images by City Studio participants (including fellows, mentors, and resource people) alongside poems by the six invited writers. While all 100 copies feature hand-pressed linocut covers, 50 were hand-sewn, uncut, and assembled by City Studio participants and 50 were given for machine stapling, folding and cutting at the photocopy shop.
At the event, as part of the performance, each audience member received a free copy of the limited edition chapbook. The event featured a short discussion on the possibilities for innovation in poetry publication before beginning the performances. Apart from Nabina Das, a writer who was already one of the 2010 City Studio fellows, the event brought in five other poets writing in Hindi in English, selected partly in consultation with the online journal Pratilipi: Geet Chaturvedi, Giriraj Kiradoo, Monica Mody, Nitoo Das and Vyomesh Shukla. The event was well attended beyond all expectations, featuring an audience strength of at least 75, rare for poetry.
SURFACES was conceived and curated by Vivek Narayanan. Amitabh Kumar designed the chapbook.