Granta is “downing tools” for the afternoon on Monday (21st January) for an “Inactivity Afternoon" to celebrate publication of Not Working: Why We Have to Stop by psychoanalyst Josh Cohen.
"On Blue Monday – which makes a claim to being the most depressing day of the year – Granta employees are downing tools for the afternoon, to play board games and stare out the window, in aid of Josh Cohen’s hymn to inactivity Not Working: Why We Have to Stop, published earlier this month,” Granta said.
From 2pm, the independent publisher’s employees "will be invited to stop work” for the “Inactivity Afternoon" and "remind themselves why sometimes it is good to stop". Granta will be covering the non-event on their social media channels "though the marketing manager insists that this is a creative pursuit”, the publisher said.
"More than ever before, we live in a culture that demonizes idleness. Work, connectivity and a constant flow of information are the cultural norms, and a permanent busyness pervades even our quietest moments. Little wonder so many of us are burning out. Inactivity can induce lethargy and ennui, but is also a condition of imaginative freedom and creativity.”
In Not Working, psychoanalyst Josh Cohen explores the "four faces of inertia” which he calls the burnout, the slob, the daydreamer and the slacker. "Drawing on personal experience as well as real-life case studies from his consulting room, Cohen gets to the heart of the apathy so many of us feel when faced with the demands of contemporary life, and asks how we might live a different, more fulfilled existence,” Granta said.
Cohen called for other offices to follow. He said: “A Not Working Afternoon like this is the diametric opposite of a teeth-grinding corporate team-building exercise in which the workforce is corralled on pain of sanction into having ‘fun’ together, typically in the service of lessons in productivity and efficiency. Optional attendance to underline that this this is just one of many ways to stop; boardgames and tea, pastimes which are the precise definition of activities with no end but themselves. Why aren’t more workplaces doing stuff like this?”
He will appear at a number of events including The Tate (5th February), Jewish Book Week (3rd March), 5x15 (11th March), Words by the Water (16th March), Oxford Literary Festival (3rd April) and more.