Literature vs Traffic

Regular visitors to TBTP are likely aware of my enormous regard for the brilliant installations from the Madrid-based street art collective Luzinterruptus. Somehow I missed their most project titled Literature vs Traffic that they created in one of my favorite cities, Utrecht, Netherlands last September. As participants in the International Literature Festival Utrecht – ILFU,  they created an illuminated river of books on a center city street.

According to the group:

We want literature to take over the streets and to become the conqueror of all public places, offering passersby a traffic-free area that will, for a few hours, surrender to the humble might of the written word.

Thus, a place in the city usually dedicated to speed, pollution, and noise, shall turn, for one night, into a place of peace, quiet, and coexistence, lighted by the soft dim light issued from the book pages.

The books will be available for those who want to take them, so the installation will recycle itself and will last as long as its users decide to make it disappear.

Cars will eventually re-claim their place. However, those who walked by this place that night will hold the memory of how once books took over it, so they will have a better relationship with it.”

For Literature vs Traffic, they used more than 11,000 books that they gathered over a three month period from local book lovers, libraries, and bookshops. They used the books to create a long stream which was open to the public during the entire day. When night fell, they allowed the public into the installation to examine the books and choose those they liked the most to take back home. The leftover books were donated to local thrift shops.


Later that night, 50 volunteers picked up the books that remained on the street. They were carefully stored away and, once the lights were out, they were donated to local thrift stores.


Photographs by Montaña Pulido, Bram van Toor, Rob Schreuder, Jonathan Franzen, Michael Kooren, and Liset Verberne.


This entry was posted in Art, Books, Europe, Film, Libraries, Tourism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Literature vs Traffic

  1. restlessjo says:

    What a fabulous thing to be part of. You made me smile this morning 😄💗

  2. margaret21 says:

    Oh! How I’d love to have been there.

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