Hyperlocal creative nonfiction
I think it’s because I like learning. A lot. About people and places; especially when they are way out of the way from all the things I’ve kind of discovered, at least in moments where I feel like, ‘Yeah. Okay. How about something new, now?”
Mostly everything I write now is about people and place. That I find, wherever I go. On the spot, in real life. First person is my favorite kind of writing, but lately, I’m getting into science fiction again (and third-person, and all the wonderful things you can do with that).
Discovering the story, in the field, on the way, is how I explore my way towards new kinds of people, places, and even genres of writing. Making zines, short books and even art shows. More at my personal site, dipikakohli.com.
- I was a full-time reporter and freelance writer from the late 1990s through the early 2000. Then I was a staff editor for newspapers in southwest Ireland’s Clonakilty and a daily in Seattle, USA.
- Many of my creative bursts have occurred when she feels ready to report from observation, whilst adjusting to engaging with the people and learning more about them, and the places, that she has begun to get to know. (For example, Ireland 2000-2004, or Cambodia 2014-2019.).
- The best of my writings and art installations center on a common intent: interconnecting and gathering real people whose paths I’ve encountered personally, and with whom I’ve had a chance to spend some high-quality time. This, in-situ. That is, in context. Many reasons. But the pursuit of quality is a main.
- My works are usually created in series. I like progressions; A weekly e-mag; magazine columns.. Sets. Collections.
Whether a conversation salon, art exhibition, popup workshop or an eBook, my work feature, I feel, a richness that comes only from observing. By staying in a place long enough to learn, at least a little, the vernacular.
Here’s how I see it, now. What I do, and why…
We who do not fit the playbill, the script that says ‘these are the stories to push,’ we who don’t want to reconfigure or contort to conform, or change our names, this awesome cool thing: we can just do what we want ourselves.
Kohli wanted to support that idea, and so submitted a piece. ‘Midmorning Lakeshimmer’ was published in the Urban Hiker about twenty years ago. It was set by the lakeside of Udaipur in Rajasthan. It was about a real life conversation with someone over paranthas, about the meaning of life and movement. Honestly. Unfiltered, unscripted, agendaless, and without the programming that comes from conditioning designed to press you along into a cookie-cutter worldview.
We are malleable and thinking and changing people. We can learn and discover, together.