In my various social media spaces (work and non-work), I have posted about how I love The Hindu Lit for Life fest logo, both the general one and this year’s adaptation.
In the general logo, I love how the crevice in the nib leads to a light-bulb, which has become synonymous for an idea or the sparking of an idea.
In this year’s adapted logo, I love the splash of blue (ink) – to me, it indicated movement, dynamism, fluidity.
However, it was only when I was taking print-outs of this year’s schedule, at the neighbourhood DTP and internet café, and thus saw the logo on the schedule from a distance (on their computer screen), that I saw deeper meanings (unintended or intentional) to the logo.
One, the splash of blue – nice and big and bold – seems like a strong, forceful counter to the splash of red (read: blood) we have seen in the past year or so in the art, literary and creative spaces, both in India and neighbouring countries. Writers and other creative individuals returning their awards to protest the rising intolerance to free expression. Authors such as Perumal Murugan announcing their ‘literary death’ to protest against the protests against his Tamil book ‘Mathurobagan’ (‘One Part Woman’ in the English translation). Ink attacks (Sudheendra Kulkarni had ink/black oil smeared on his face for organizing an event to launch former Pakistani minister, Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri’s book, ‘Neither a Hawk nor a Dove: An Insider’s Account of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy’). Bloggers being killed in Bangladesh. Creative folk’s voices being muzzled in various ways across the country, the most ludicrous perhaps being the installation of a plastic cow balloon (to highlight the danger to cows on eating plastic thrown around by people) being pulled down after protests by people belonging to the right-wing ruling party and then being worshipped because as per their culture and tradition, the cow is a sacred animal and they won’t allow it to be killed, or it seems, humiliated. (Turning blind eyes to the immense cruelty milch cows have to go through in the name of dairy production.) The bold indigo splash seems to be say, the intelligent voice will splash you back, the creative blood will keep flowing.
Two, the blue dab, especially as the fest is Chennai-based, seems a tribute to the aqueous horrors the city and its citizens went through in mid-November and early December due to unprecedented and record-breaking rains and floods. This time, the logo seems to say, the city will keep flowing. That’s also why, after much debate, and where other cultural events in the city were either muted or cancelled, the festival organizers have decided to go ahead with the fest, but with some adjustments: no pre-events and inclusion of several talks on the crises that cities face due to urbanization.
In short, literature and life will keep going. Amen.
Learn more about The Hindu Lit for Life Fest 2016 on its website: TheHinduLFL