The aesthetic link between her different works has been: imaginative juxtapositions.
This creative concept has taken more than three decades of experimenting with myriad self-initiated projects to arrive at.
Here are some of her past works in the field of journalism and publishing.
- Environment Editor, Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, Seattle WA 2004-2005
- Co-Editor, West Cork Advertiser, Clonakilty 2002-2004
Zines & Chapbooks
- S P A C E: More than 50 zines made in: Finland, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Latvia, Slovakia, Lithuania 2017-2019
- ‘Today I Love You,’ for solo show at Carrack Modern Art, Durham NC 2010-2012
- ‘I Went 2 the City (and There Was Nothing There), exhibited at Hinge Literary Exchange, Durham NC 2012
- ‘Don’t Kick the Pigeons,’ Seattle WA 2007-2009
- ‘Shades Beneath an African Sky,’ a zine and painting, whose title was then used for a curated show at Brooks Hall Gallery, Raleigh NC 1997
Magazine & Newspaper Columns
- ‘Start Where You Are’, wavular.com [forthcoming in 2020]
- ‘Kismuth & The Way’, Saathee Magazine, Charlotte NC 2019
- Kanishka, published as a serial, Preetlari Magazine, Chandigarh 2016
- ‘The Village Report’, Northwest Asian Weekly, Seattle 2013-2014
- ‘Just Being Honest’, Saathee Magazine, Charlotte NC 2013-2014
- ‘Ireland in the World Cup’, as reported from Tokyo for Skibbereen’s Southern Star, 2002
- This is This (2019)
- Breakfast in Cambodia (2016)
- Kanishka (2015)
- The Elopement (2012)
- The Dive (2012)
Select residencies & awards
- AIR Frosterus, Kärsämäki Finland, 2018
- Preetlari Writing Residency at Preetnagar India, 2013
- Social innovation coordinator-in-residence, VIA Programs at Stanford University, 2014
- Scripps Howard Fellowship for environmental journalism, UC-Boulder, 2005
- Oxford Rhodes state finalist for North Carolina, 1997
- Japan Foundation Grants for visual essays of Kyoto, 1995 & 1996
- ‘The Death of Childhood,’ Dying Matters, UK 2015
- ‘Understanding Regional Identity in the Face of Rapid Development,’ ThisBigCity.com 2014
- ‘The Truth of It’, published in Sisters Born, Sisters Found and the Bay Area’s Noe Valley Voice, 2014
- ‘Are we allowed to be creative?’ ProcessedIdentity.com, Ottawa 2011
- ‘Ireland’s Oldest Man,’ feature, Cork Evening Echo, Cork 2002
- ‘Tech Time for Universities,’ feature, J@Pan Inc, Tokyo 2002
- Prior to 2002, Kohli’s freelance pieces had appeared in: AbroadView, Irish Times, Irish American Post, India Today Plus, J@pan Inc., Metro Eireann, The Raleigh News & Observer, Rediff.com, Sikkim Observer, Spectator Magazine, StudentTraveler, Southern Star, Tokyo Notice Board, Transitions Abroad, and her hometown of Durham NC’s Urban Hiker: Stories in First Person*.
Hyperlocal creative nonfiction
Kohli writes today about people and place. But that’s not new. Ever since she’d first started making small books, printed out on her father’s laser printer, using the cool and new thing at that time, Ventura Publishing, her writings were about the worlds of those who were right around her, in real life, in those moments.
For commissioned works later,, she’d write about, say, an Irishman at a bar in Roppongi commenting on the state of play in the World Cup, that year, when Ireland was part of it. Or a prizewinning horse trainer in the back country of southwest Ireland. Or a couple of students whose styles and rigor made her pitch a story about them to a business magazine in Japan.
Discovering the story, in the field, on the way, is how she explores her way towards new writings, short books and even art shows. More at dipikakohli.com.
- Kohli was a full-time reporter and freelance writer from the late 1990s through the early 2000s. see ‘Select Articles’ section, above
- Many of her 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 her writings and art installations center on a common intent. This is: interconnecting and gathering real people whose paths she has encountered personally, and with whom she has had a chance to spend some time. This, in-situ. That is, in context. Many reasons. But the pursuit of quality is a main.
- Kohli’s works feature progressions, in the form of salons that continue; a weekly e-mag; magazine columns that go for multi-month blocks. These in sets. Collections.
Whether a conversation salon, art exhibition, popup workshop or an eBook, her work features a richness that comes only from staying in a place long enough to learn, at least a little, the vernacular.
*It was this last publication which was most intriguing to her because it showed and didn’t tell: it said, by showing up in the newsstands at The Regulator on Ninth Street, it said, by just being there in real life, it said the very thing that all zine-making and DIY publishing people have in their hearts. Which I’ll tell you, in a second.
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.