Open Call | Culture as Print: Publics and Perspectives from South Asia


“So thoroughly has the archive been domesticated that it has come to serve as a shorthand for memory; whether its images are lifted from newspapers and magazines or downloaded from digital cameras, it presses upon its users and viewers new kinds of ethical, social, political, and cultural relationships to information, history, and memory.”

—Okwui Enwezor, Archive Fever: Photography between History and the Monument

Invoking Enwezor’s concept of the “iconomy” as contiguous fields of circulation, extension and imbrication of images, we ask: what relationships are possible with printed materials? The anti-monument energies which have erupted in the refusal of colonial-settler imageries across the globe, in the transformation of town squares and statuary conventions as sites of historical reckonings, and in the articulations of polyphonic frequencies in ephemera of the protest site—in the forms of pamphlets, banners, newsletters, food packets, urge us to revisit and reconsider the function of printed matter as a cultural field. In this edition of Write | Art | Connect, we are keen to explore “print” as mobile sites that engender vocabularies, imaginations and boundaries of the public. We invite essays that explore vernacular print experiments and publications, the role of print ephemera in social movements, the relationship between body and print in the performing arts, and the “corpus” of the printed materials itself—techniques and stylistic overtures in design, typography and visual codes in South Asia.

For the upcoming issue of Write | Art | Connect, we invite pitches of no more than 200 words on the possible histories, attributes and trajectories of “print” in South Asia. Please submit brief outlines of a proposed essay to [email protected] latest by 5 April 2021.