04 March, 2008

Multiple images of South African Adolescents as reflected in Youth Literature

On 28 February 2008, at the Sandton Public Library, Judith Inggs delivered a paper, The Multiple Images of South African Adolescents as reflected in Youth Literature.

Judith explored the ways in which South African writers make use of language and focalisation to construct their adolescent characters. She analysed a number of South African young adult novels in order to establish whether or not they were moving away from focalization through the dominant ideology and world-view. These were:
Welcome to the Martin Tudhope Show! by Sarah Britten (2002),
The Eighth Man by Michael Williams (2002),
Someone Called Lindiwe by Gail Smith (2003),
Flowers of the Nation by Sandile Memela (2005), and
The Mending Season by Kagiso Lesego Molope (2005).

She suggested that writers should move away from stereotypical portrayals and cultivate positive self-images for young people from all racial and cultural groups. They should try to depict different social groups, customs and values.

The talk was very interesting and thought-provoking. Writers and illustrators were encouraged to look at their work more objectively.

No comments: