Q&A: Swat Post’s Martin Froger-Silva ’16

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Personalized cards labeled “Swat Post” flooded Swatties’ mailboxes  this Tuesday. The cards bear instructions to “write/draw/glue something (anything!)” on the back of the card and submit it to the mailbox of Martin Silva ’16, who will then post them on a Tumblr page. They can be anonymous, but not offensive.

Upon seeing their card, many students have been pleasantly surprised.

Zack Li ’16 said, “This is the most neato-bandito thing ever!”

With the success of Swarthmore Compliments and Like a Little, most Swatties think these heartwarming projects can have a positive effect on the community.

“I think it’s a really good idea,” Maddy Amodio ’14 said. “I think the sense of community has really grown in the years since I’ve been here. That’s why I love being here, it’s a community where people really care about each other.”

The Daily Gazette spoke with the creator of “Swat Post,” Martin Froger-Silva ’16:

Isabel Knight: So how did you decide to take up this project?

Martin Froger-Silva: I just came home from Thanksgiving break, and had nothing to do, so I was like “Hey, that’d be fun.” And I just sat down and I started doing it. It was very sudden. So, submit! I think it’ll be fun for everyone. And positive. I’ve been talking to juniors who are all like “Man, how are you so positive at the end of the semester?!”

IS: Was this inspired by PostSecret?

MFS: I don’t look at PostSecret often. I’ve been on it once or twice. But [Swat Post submissions] don’t have to be secrets. They can be anything you want, art, it doesn’t even have to be words, it’s just expressions, so it’s more of a community art project, really. And I’m going to archive them so you can see all the ones ever posted. PostSecret doesn’t do that — you can only see one week at a time.

IS: You say this was inspired by Swarthmore Compliments and (Like) Like A Little. How is this different from those mediums?

MFS: It seems like much more of a gesture, and like I said, it’s much more of a community art project. It takes time and real thought. It’s connecting with people through art. I mean “art” is a big term, right. So if someone draws a stick person, I’ll post that. I want creativity and expression. . .It can even be a dot in the middle of the paper and I’ll still submit that. But I better not get like 200 of those now that I said this.

IS: Does it have to be anonymous?

MFS: No! If you make something really cool, then of course you can feel free to put your name on it when you submit. It’s not discouraging people from expressing yourself or being nice to other people in real life, I just think it means a little more because everybody can see it here.

IS: You have to be pretty committed to post these every week for the rest of your four years here. What’s in the future?

MFS: If people submit, then yeah, I’d like to do this for four years. If it actually kicks off and a lot of people submit, I’ll probably make a Facebook page for it, too.

IS: You said on the cards that you won’t publish anything crude or hurtful, but otherwise is the censorship going to be pretty minimal?

MFS: I don’t like censorship. But I’m doing this so people can have fun and as a nice virtual environment for people to post things. I created this to be a positive thing. If people are going to start spamming it or trolling it, that’s not going up. Otherwise, I’ll post everything.


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