Open Word

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"CACIM – Critical Action Centre in Movement based in Delhi, and we have recently started our own publishing imprint, ‘OpenWord’.

OpenWord is a proposed global, networked publishing initiative of CACIM in the field of critical thought and action. Its focus is on reflection, debate, and conversation across disciplines and knowledge systems and on areas beyond normal boundaries of culture, political dogma, and economic fundamentalism.

As the name of the initiative itself suggests, our interest and perspective is to work in the open domain and to engage with issues of openness."


"OpenWord is a new publishing initiative towards promoting open expression, critical engagement, and a spirit, culture, and practice of critical openness. It is the publishing arm of CACIM (India Institute for Critical Action: Centre in Movement) and has grown out of the experiences of the members and associates of CACIM and their attempts to practise and promote criticality in socio-political and cultural action and movement. We do so on the understanding that critical thinking and critical engagement, and, through this, critical action contribute to broader and more effective transformational social power.

Starting with work in the area of social and political movements, OpenWord plans to publish in different fields over time, looking beyond the boundaries of political, economic, cultural, and academic dogma. In particular, it attempts to privilege authors from among those who have been and are structurally marginalised in, among other areas, the production of knowledges, and, in particular, indigenous peoples, Dalits, and women.

OpenWord seeks, in particular, to reach out to young people – students, activists, workers, thinkers, and artists. Through commissioning and/or sourcing work from all walks of life and depths of experiences, it aims at producing publications that challenge us to think beyond the accepted boundaries of knowledge and are yet enjoyable.

OpenWord aims to practise and promote a culture of open publishing. It critically engages with emerging practices and principles in this area, such as copyleft, open, and non-conventional models of content ownership regimes. OpenWord will constantly attempt to push these boundaries and spell out ever-clearer and more empowering principles in the crucial areas of the authorship, ownership, and dissemination of knowledge.

Initially based in India, OpenWord is exploring the possibilities of building a transcultural, global Editorial Collective and to publish material from across the world over time. It will actively seek to be transnational, trans-cultural, and trans-communal in its approach and in the body of work it produces, contributing to a planetary awareness and consciousness. With the help of this network, it will constantly seek existing and new thinking from all parts of the world, and to contribute to conversations across cultures, disciplines, and movements.

OpenWord presently publishes only in the written word, but over time it plans to also work in and with other media. In line with its concept of open publishing and in relation to its objective of reaching as widely as possible across the world and making what it publishes as accessible as possible, it has a policy of always publishing both in hard copy and online. OpenWord is actively exploring publishing in new media, such as print-on-demand books, e-books, audio books, and tying up with online content providers and aggregators.

An important aspect of OpenWord will be its engagement with new media. We propose to use the Internet not just to distribute the knowledge generated but also to collate content and develop content that, perhaps, can be developed only through this medium. We propose that over time, a significant number of the books published by OpenWord will be collaborative projects developed on the Internet. On the one hand OpenWord can publish projects which are already running and have generated enough content to be turned into books, like online encyclopaedias, different lists or groups running on specific subjects, etc. On the other hand, OpenWord will invite interested individuals, organisations, and networks to develop such projects which will later be published by it after they have gone through editorial scrutiny.

In addition to the publications it produces, OpenWord also distributes all publications produced by CACIM till date, as well as publications published by CACIM members through other publishers.

OpenWord also collaborates with like-minded publishing houses from around the world for co-publishing, content sharing, distribution, and region-specific editions of its books." (

More Information

From Gitanjali Sah, Research Associate, ICT for Development Community, Solution Exchange India

Email: [email protected]