back to top


is a project by dear friend, mentor and former colleague Geetika Alok, exploring the apparent hegemony of English as a language in South Asia / India and the dichotomy it presents vis-a-vis the different vernacular languages.

In her words :
"English is the universal language of our world, but it is not the same everywhere. English is interwoven into the vernacular languages of ‘others’ who speak it but make it different. South Asia presents a unique case of language contact, convergence and assimilation: the voices of ordinary people in India betray a tension between the indigenous language of identity and authoritative English, the language of the economy.

The project involved interviews of people residing in India – unemployed, journalists, teachers, customer service executives, students and so on. While my series of typographic works attempts to amplify the voice, it draws inspiration from the Indian decorative arts exploring the love/hate relationship with English."

Location :
Anjaneya Swamy Temple, Banaswadi, Bangalore

ALL IN A DAY'S WORK; that fateful Sunday we all set out to this temple post having purified ourselves with yummy dosas, equipped with our paraphernalia. The collaboration with these sweet ladies was a blessing whom Geetika had already befriended on her recce the previous day. We did have a few trials when they went free-hand and we executed the nitpicking grid which probably took more time than all the letters drawn put together. By the afternoon, myself and Geetika had to drudge bare feet as both our footwear were stolen. Alas, we deserved what we got by ignoring the old Indian temple canon - always, always and always carry a small bag to stuff your footwear or leave it in the car, hell just stuff it into your pockets if you can. Thankfully Priyanka and Prachi came to our rescue. With the four of us now, we felt stronger, faster and hungrier. More pure food from Mary's household and soonafter the ladies got into action and we into what we do best - nitpicking and shutterbugging.

For other typographic renditions of this project, check out :


kashif14763 said...

Really very relevant artical with the topic it is good work.

KGB said...

I saw her work at the Royal College Degree show!