[Experience] Going global with 100 Thousand Poets For Change

Two weeks ago, I came to know about 100 Thousand Poets For Change. Upon a quick internet search, I came across two names, Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion. They had started this initiative back in 2011 and since then, it has grown so much that Stanford University offered to archive the content on their website. For being a part of this global initiative, one has to organise a local event that talks about topics that fall under the broad umbrella term, social change. The key is to organise these events simultaneously in different parts of the world, to become a part of a bigger something. The importance of targeting your neighbourhood to talk about local issues lies in the fact that nothing can be global unless its local at its roots. And there began my journey of being a part of this change and participating in it as a University Department. Together, we organised 100 Thousand Poets For Change: University Of Mumbai Edition.

It was my first experience of being involved in something of this scale. This year, more than 500 events were organised in over 100 countries around the world! The scale was huge and this Facebook group here will tell you just how special the experience was. Our work was being displayed next to someone who is probably miles away. We might never meet, but the satisfaction of knowing that someone out there is a part of something that you believe in is a way to immense to be put into words.

A glimpse of the global participation

About our event

On September 29, the event was held in the Seminar Room of the Department of Communication and Journalism, University of Mumbai. In the two weeks between the day and the time we started out, we created a poetry wall near the entrance of our Department, where everyone was welcome to put up their poems. In fact, we even asked people to send in their poems to us, which we later pinned up. I cannot even attempt to explain just how overwhelming it used to feel every time I spotted someone reading the board with interest. It was a sight to behold!

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The poetry wall on the day we put up the charts, inviting people to pin up their poems.
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The poetry wall within a few days since we started.
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The poetry wall by the end of the two weeks since we started.
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A man reading the poems pinned up on the poetry wall. Picture Credit: Prateek Singh

The other exciting activity undertaken by us was promoting the event on Facebook. We took over the Department’s official Facebook page, with due permission of course. (We have some extremely supporting folks back us up!) An interesting point to mention here is how this activity was turned into an assignment for the students of Digital Media Marketing, with the professor taking the subject guiding them at every turn. Hopefully, giving our A grades as well. *fingers crossed*

At the Department

Also, a book launch and CD release event at the Department too fell on the run-up to the event and came under the fold of the initiative!

As a part of the event, we also asked the students of our Department to express what poetry means to them.

Behind the scenes

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The preparations were in a full swing a day before the event.
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#PoetryForMeIs posters were put up on the walls around the Seminar Room.

The DAY!

To know more about everything we did, you can check out our Facebook page as well as the one that’s being archived! Overall, it was an experience like no other and I am so glad I was a part of it!

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