On Mobilising Art for a Cause

Sunil Sharma

Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it.

---Bertolt Brecht


For the artist, the color, the bouquet, the tinkling of the spoon on the saucer, are things in the highest degree. He stops at the quality of the sound or the form. He returns to it constantly and is enchanted with it.

Jean-Paul Sartre


Hi there!

The February edition of Setu comes packed with its usual colours and creative and emotional energies unleashed by the verbal and pictorial units of aesthetic significance for a jaded age!

This month showcases the powerful modes of Concrete/ Vispo and Politiku poetry---works that are both powerful and unsettling in their visual appeal, structure and enduring impact.

The effect that lingers on post-reading, like the fragrance of a fine perfume!

Art here, at its best in recording and registering reality as perceived by a mind in a spell of creation of beauty.

Part of a long tradition, political poetry especially, is meant to challenge the status quo through radical tones---to unsettle, with shades of Brecht colouring the words of such voices impatient for a change.

Here, in the current issue, another assemblage of fine imagery and innovative styles and designs that inaugurate new vistas of looking.

Some brilliant stuff!

Guest-edited by the exceptional Jerome Berglund, the concluding two-part segment of Master Series brings together some stunning short-form poems that engage with urgent concerns of an age of fractured ideals and new realities that are scary.

Talking of these "consequential projects" and their effect, young Jerome says, in his thoughtful email message:

They have meant the world to participants and interested readers, from laymen to highly influential figures in international community, I think this is an initiative which will truly be remembered long into the future, and that perhaps we made some significant contributions to understanding and exploring important subjects and concepts that break new ground yet to be examined outside of the tradition's native environment...

We remain indebted to Jerome Berglund and all the poets and authors featured in this collector's item for you: Lot of exciting works, visual, poetic and audio-visual.

Jerome’s editorial is a master class on engaged literature, Littérature engage, in the Sartrean sense of the critical term.

The other select works, too, expand on this idea of commitment and discharge their moral obligation as writers desiring change in society through artistic intervention.

Hope to catch up soon, dear reader---with another interesting and relevant project, another edition.


With very best wishes,


Sunil Sharma,

Managing Editor, Setu (English)

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