This little chicken went to Africa : a historical survey into the development of narrative structures within relief printmaking in community centres in South Africa and a formal analysis of the relevance of the medium in contemporary children's picture book illustration

Johnson, Shelley (2009-03)

Thesis (MPhil (Visual Arts. Illustration))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.


When dealing with emergent literacy in South Africa, the didactic aspects of picture books are often privileged over their aesthetic quality and the idea of reading for pleasure. The themes of the books are not always locally relevant and for economic reasons, they often fail to reach the communities that need them the most. By looking at the history of relief printing within a community environment, I hope to highlight how communities themselves may be able to develop locally relevant children’s picture books, instituting a ‘grassroots’ approach rather than the paternalistic ‘top down’ approach of the past. I will also be looking at the narrative and stylistic elements of relief printing that are complimentary to the picture book genre and how these can be utilised for a pleasurable rather than didactic approach to the narratives.

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