These artists created a huge open library – and their idea’s gone global

Library 2019

(Tobias Fischer, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Douglas Broom, Senior Writer, Formative Content


You might be used to reading words written by your favourite authors in bed, on a train, or even in the park. But have you ever seen them posted on a lamppost, butcher’s shop window or trash can?

With books beyond the reach of many people in India, this unusual concept was exactly what writer Manoj Pandey and illustrator Nidhin Kundathil felt was needed to make literature accessible to everyone.

 

They took to the streets with stickers and posters adorned with eye-catching extracts from the works of great writers – everyone from Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde to Salman Rushdie – and a movement was born.

Image: StickLit.in

It’s called StickLit, an organisation Pandey and Kundathil say they want to create the world’s largest collection of literature in public spaces – a library that’s free for all.

Image: Sneda Nidhin/India Times

Going global

They were inspired by the desire to bring together the disparate worlds of two people Pandey met – a B-movie screenwriter with aspirations to publish a book, and a resident of one of India’s largest slums, who would never be able to afford to buy that book.

And their passion, it seems, is contagious. The pair recruited volunteers to help stick up the posters, starting in Kundathil’s home city of Bengaluru and the capital New Delhi. And they’ve now been joined by more than 100 volunteers in three continents, with their work appearing in Amsterdam, London, Philadelphia and Kathmandu.

They’ve also asked writers to join the cause by giving permission to use their work. Salman Rushdie, Shashi Tharoor, Yuko Shimizu and Malika Favre are among those who have contributed so far.

Image: Mayur Gupta/The Hindu

Hidden talent

Pandey says the group wants to break down the elitism associated with literature. The posters, designed by Kundathil, are free to download in English and Hindi from the group’s website. And, as well as famous names, StickLit wants unpublished writers to be involved.

“Finding hidden talent in hidden places is very important,” says Pandey. “We want to give a voice to writers in small places who have the potential to make it big.”

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

COVID-19 pandemic: The war inside our heads

Asking for more restriction on intra EU immigration: Unproductive and politically dangerous

Coronavirus: a Disease that spreads as fastly as its fake news

Can the Tokyo Olympics help bring the world together?

European research priorities for 2021-2027 agreed with member states

The Eurogroup protects Germany and blames others

Myanmar military target civilians in deadly helicopter attack, UN rights office issues war crimes warning

The price of centralization of human resources for health

Children of ISIL terrorists likely held in ‘secret detention facilities’, UN human rights office warns

EU: Divided they stand on immigration and Trump hurricanes

COVID-19 and the pursuit of financial inclusion in Pakistan

Coronavirus: Commission launches data sharing platform for researchers

Infringement – Commission takes Italy to Court for its incomplete regime of access to genetic resources

Human rights champions from across the world receive top UN prize

Germany may have a stable and more cooperative government

How income-sharing agreements can improve access to education

Lagarde discusses the European Central Bank’s policy revamp with MEPs

Macro-Financial Assistance: Europe’s way to control Ukraine?

ECB asks for more subsidies to banks

COVID – ACT III, When do I get off the stage?

SRHR and Ending HIV : Can one be achieved without the other ?

Sign language protects ‘linguistic identity and cultural diversity’ of all users, says UN chief

Who really cares about the 26.2 million of EU jobless?

19th EU-China Summit: A historical advance in the Chino-European rapprochement

‘Foreign children’ in overwhelmed Syrian camp need urgent international help, says top UN official

EP survey: EU recovery funds should only go to countries respecting Rule of Law

FROM THE FIELD: West Africa’s wishful gold diggers

Moving from commitment to action on LGBTI equality

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: from cardboard beds to recycled medals, how the Games are going green

Commission’s action plan: financial world mandatory links to environmental targets

Fostering intergenerational solidarity and cooperation through age-friendly environments: the right answer to Europe’s demographic challenge

The Eurogroup+ is born to govern the EU Banking Union

European Youth Forum demands immediate action & binding agreement on climate change

How to create a transparent digital economy and rebuild consumer trust

Coronavirus reinforces the importance of empathy

To all far-right partisans who exploit Charlie Hebdo atrocity: a peaceful reply given by a peaceful student

For how long and at what cost can the ECB continue printing trillions to keep euro area going?

What is the European Super League and how would it work?

State aid: Commission approves German scheme for very high capacity broadband networks in Bavaria

To feed 10 billion people, we must preserve biodiversity. Here’s how

Ramped-up emergency preparedness, part of ‘changing the DNA’ of the UN’s health agency

New Report Offers Global Outlook on Efforts to Beat Plastic Pollution

How African countries can benefit from plan to reform global tax

Destabilizing Lebanon after burning Syria; plotting putsch at home: King and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia

COVID-19 is an unmissable chance to put people and the planet first

Take care of your borders and then expand them

The Juncker Plan at work: bringing investment back on track in Europe

Africa-Europe Alliance: European Commission committed to a sustainable African agri-food sector

Mindfulness: a freedom we can still have in the pandemic

If you live in a big city you already smoke every day

Employment and Social Developments in Europe: 2018 review confirms positive trends but highlights challenges, in particular linked to automation and digitalisation

Safer products: EP and Council close deal to beef up checks and inspections

Coronavirus global response: EU Humanitarian Air Bridge to Iraq and new funding

Top UN Syria envoy hails ‘impressive’ start to historic talks in Geneva

UN rights chief slams ‘unconscionable’ US border policy of separating migrant children from parents

EU-US resume trade negotiations under the spell of NSA surveillance

The world’s economy is only 9% circular. We must be bolder about saving resources

How many websites are there?

State aid: Commission approves €650 million Polish support to LOT in context of coronavirus outbreak

Nepal faces a crisis as COVID-19 stems the flow of remittances

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s