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The call of the underground

One of the typical representatives of Generation Now is Trupthi, a second year student at LSR.

india Updated: Jan 11, 2004 10:19 IST

One of the typical representatives of Generation Now is my friend, Trupthi, a second year student at LSR. She recently introduced me to a website with loads of attitude that she identifies with, and visits regularly. When I logged on to www.getunderground.com, I realised what she meant. The website’s slogan is ‘creative resistance designed for the emancipation of the human spirit". It is a sub-mainstream arts and culture community dedicated to the free expression of the creative global underground.

When I dug deeper, I discovered that Get Underground is a robust professional-level community in design, consistency and content that features literary articles, columnists, art, music, and poetry on a bi-weekly basis. Its "HotSpots" section is perhaps the only continuously updated national database of performance poetry venues in the US.

Get Underground was founded by Shlomo Sher in May 2001. Since then, it has evolved and collected some outstanding attitudinal writers and a community of committed readers. It’s interesting how Shlomo, ‘an aspiring philosopher and writer for whom life is a continuous struggle between bohemian ideals and practical creature comforts’, describes Underground.

He debunks the common misconceptions that "Underground" refers to the rave/electronica scene, is not mainstream, and is something that people don't know about. He sees underground culture as overlapping certain sectors of rave, hip-hop, indie, punk, goth, modern tribalistic, poetry/spoken word and art-scene cultures. Each of these scenes/aesthetics/expressions, Shlomo says, have certain elements that are and are not underground. He suggests that “underground values” that glue it all together are quintessentially reality, sincerity, freedom of creative expression, art in itself, and creative pursuit “for love, not money.”

One of the most outstanding sections on the site is called Poetix, which features new age experimental poetry and is deftly edited by Ratpack Slim who has been rocking the LA poetry scene for about three years now.

The site is interested in experimental writings and arts related to personal impressions and experimental visions, as well as political and social investigations. Global contributors of copy and multimedia are offered a creative space for expression and promotion. Contributions are submitted directly to the site and contributors can edit their submission through its web interface. You can post your creative work on the site’s many forums. Says Slim: “I want to feel your prose in my gut.”

Get Underground is an online platform that propels us towards creative possibilities. If you are keen to keep your creative spirit alive, simply dig in.

Carry on surfing!

strehan@hindustantimes.com

First Published: Jan 03, 2004 02:04 IST