All Lockers Must Be Emptied and Unlocked

Namrata Bhatter — Orality in the Contemporary

“Oral expression can exist and mostly have existed without any writing at all, writing never without orality “ - Walter Ong, 1982.

Before literacy, orality or the condition of oral thought and verbal expression existed as the very first language of humans. It was based on information that was passed down among generations, using mnemonic systems that were lyrical and performative such as prose, poetry, aphorism etc.

This project aims to observe and investigate the importance of orality in the contemporary context, through design that engages the senses, and where the audience is an active participant and not just a mere spectator.

Bridging the gap between orality and textuality, these experiments aim to bring about awareness of how orality has been an important and natural aspect of human culture; how it is complimentary to literacy, and not its subordinate.

The design of books as objects that facilitate oral interaction is a small step towards bringing back orality in the simple aspects of our everyday life, in order to facilitate a dialogue about the importance and richness of human interaction and community.