Every word I’ve read, that made me understand the world or me a tiny bit better, influenced my life based on actions, thoughts, words, and my general awareness of it.
Interview with Antonia Wagner
Digital Designer and Literal user Antonia—or for short— is nerdy about books. In more detail: Books that challenge the status quo, that address things that invite—or simply need—different viewpoints in a world of diversity. An inspiring interview about the meaning of women in literature, the impact of books on identity and what you can learn from The Handmaid’s Tale.
Your profile on Literal contains a lot of literature addressing current topics like feminism, body positivity or consumption. Why do you like reading these types of non-fiction books and how do they influence your everyday life?
To stay sane in an insane world you have to understand its madness—that would be the short answer. The long one would be that our world and all its different aspects, are so complex but yet connected and make me curious to go on a deep level of understanding—not only the world but also myself.
I like the feeling of understanding. And I like when a feeling I had about a thing is scientifically proven. Every word I’ve read, that made me understand the world or me a tiny bit better, influenced my life based on actions, thoughts, words, and my general awareness of it.
What role do women play in literature for you?
Words are powerful—very powerful, and by giving a structurally discriminated group like females/queers an audience, things change. It was so healing for me to read all that queer and feministic literature because I felt heard, seen, and understood. We are the problem and we can be the change. If stories are never told—how can someone be aware of that problem? I also just love how badass some authors are. I feel I kinda absorb their power by reading their words.
On your Instagram account, you shared a poster for every book you read. How did you get started on this and what was your motivation to display books in this way?
The initial thought was, that I love to read and I love to design—so why not combine it? (And I am obsessed with side projects.) So yeah, after I finished a ‘hundred days of posters’ challenge, I wanted to continue and combined two things I am passionate about. In the beginning, there wasn’t a goal of portraying something ‘meaningful’, I just wanted to do posters and explore different techniques and styles.
But the more I did it I started to feel I also want to try to communicate the feeling, the mindset, and the key takeaways of each book. It is still a work in progress, to be honest, and I need to update the page with some more posters.
What was the last book that absolutely blew your mind?
*All about love* from Bell Hooks and my all-time favourite *Handmaids Tale* from Margaret Atwood. The first is a very warm, analytical book about love, the second one a bittersweet dystopia. Both taught me a lot about my role as a woman, intersectional feministic perspectives, and that silence is never protecting, you have to act.