The Socialholic Typewriter is a project which will blend technology and literature in order to create a social experience of reading and writing. It aims to innovate the way we tell, share and consume stories, supporting young people from different communities in Cyprus and the Euro-Mediterranean area to connect through creativity and collaboratively craft unique narratives.
Research has shown that literature is an important socially mediated resource from which we acquire impressions and information as a basis for forming our national representations and attitudes. Literature can perpetuate mutual opposition and hostility between members of different groups and communities by being the source of stereotypes and misinterpretation, or it may sometimes operate as a constructive influence, by familiarising members of each community with one another and bringing them closer. Nevertheless, the dominant narrative in literature and other forms of storytelling within the two communities in Cyprus has often been found to be a stereotypically nationalistic one. What is more, literature in Cyprus has been developing separately at both sides of the island and, because of the language barrier, literary texts are not readily available to the members of each respective community.
What The Socialholic Typewriter aspires to do is create a new era of storytelling in Cyprus during which our different backgrounds, beliefs, ideas, imaginations are brought together in order to spark an artistic dialogue through narrative and visual storytelling. By writing stories together, we will start creating a collaborative body of stories and literature. The Socialholic Typewriter will have the appropriate technology developed to address challenges such as distance, language, meeting place, resources, costs which would traditionally hinder such an endeavour; it therefore aims to be an online shared ‘drawing board’ for writers, illustrators, translators, editors to connect and start creating a new collective body of literature, an important step towards a shared vision.
The Socialholic Typewriter will specialize in flash fiction, a new micro-fiction genre, perfect for our social media era, fast paced life and continuous flow of information, as well as an accompanying single illustration. Such brief, fragmentary narratives which use two semiotic systems (the written word and the visual) can be very evocative and powerful and, by touching on different themes, the stories will aim to inspire, entertain, empower, challenge the busy reader.
The Socialholic Typewriter will have an initial built-in diverse network of illustrators, writers, translators and upon its launch, it will start growing its community, attracting young aspiring artists and young people interested in writing, self expression, creativity and storytelling.Daily, a user of The Socialholic Typewriter will be able to pick an original illustration, and submit their own micro narrative to complement, counterpoint and accompany that image. This story will be subsequently translated, edited and proofread by the built in network and, afterwards, the approved creation will be available on the virtual bookshelf for other users to respond, interpret, comment, like, share in various social media. The most popular creations will in the end be included in a collective edition of short stories.