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Illustration: Children of different skin colours with the project name DRINIllustration: EL BOUM

DIVERSITY, REPRESENTATION, INCLUSION, NORM CRITIQUE
DRIN - Visions for children´s books

Children’s books shape the world view we grow up with. It is important for children to be able to recognize themselves in stories, illustrations and narratives and, at the same time, to learn about the different realities of life around them. Does children’s literature in Germany, Finland and other (Northern) European countries today reflect the increasingly diverse societies in which we live, or does it make a growing proportion of the young population invisible?

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Publication

In Our Own Words: BIPOC Perspectives in Children's Literature (2021)

The word DRIN and children in various colours Copyright: Goethe-Institut Finnland/ EL BOUM The publication brings together visions of more diverse storytelling and children’s literature from different BIPOC perspectives. The publication gives a voice to people involved at all stages of a book’s life: from training to writing and illustration, from publishing to use in libraries and schools. The publication is edited by illustrator Warda Ahmed from Finland, with two Germans, illustrator Jasmina El Bouamraoui (El Boum) and writer Chantal-Fleur Sandjon: the expert consultants on the DRIN project.
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Articles


Events

The “DRIN” project © EL BOUM

Bookclub| 10.12.2021, 7 pm EET | online
DRIN: CHILDREN'S BOOKS FOR EVERYONE #8

Welcome to the DRIN book club to discuss diverse children’s literature! Everyone is welcome to the book club: parents, teachers, kindergarten teachers, librarians as well as everyone else working with or using children’s books. The eight book club hosts  the author Hoa Mai Trần and the researcher Nadia Mansour. 

Three children in a ring reading. Illustration: Warda Ahmed

Seminar | 30.11.2021, 9 am to 5 pm CET | Literaturhaus Berlin/ Youtube
Off the page

This one-day seminar brings together the learnings and networks that have been created in the DRIN project since 2018. It will take a look at the structures behind the book by giving the word to the different actors. We will also launch the publication In Our Own Words: BIPOC Perspectives in Children's Literature that was created as part of the DRIN project and which focuses on the importance of bringing more diversity not only to the stories but to the structures of the book industry as well.
Participation possible at place or via stream.

Three children in a ring reading. Illustration: Warda Ahmed

Networking | 29.11.2021, 6-8.30 pm | Korea Verband Berlin
OFF THE PAGE: NETWORKING EVENT

This event is aimed at Black, Indigenous, People of Colour in children’s literature publishing – we welcome all BIPOC (established and emerging) writers, illustrators, editors, publishers, librarians, and more! The evening will include an engaging input, a networking session, book speed-dating, and an open space session where you can share your latest projects and ideas. 

Pushing Limits © Pushing Limits

Discussion | 18.11.2021, 6 pm | Tikkurila Library
PUSHING LIMITS – CHILDREN’S CULTURE & DIVERSITY IN VANTAA

How to expand diversity, high-quality and equal accessibility to art and culture activities for all children? How to affirm diversity and identity through children’s art and culture? The panelists will share best practices, lessons learned, new ideas that can be applied as well as new questions and challenges to meet.

The “DRIN” project © EL BOUM

Book club | Wed 17.11.2021, 7 pm EET | online
DRIN: CHILDREN'S BOOKS FOR EVERYONE #7

The seventh book club this year is with the author Veronica Salinas and her children's book series with the little duck e.g. "The Voyage"; and we will also discuss diverse children's literature in Germany. Everyone is welcome to the book club: parents, teachers, kindergarten teachers, librarians as well as everyone else working with or using children’s books.

The “DRIN” project © EL BOUM

Reading | 5.11.2021 | Literaturhaus Berlin
Ayşe Bosse "Pembo – Halb und halb macht doppelt glücklich!"

Reading for school classes. Ayşe Bosse reads from her moving and funny children's book "Pembo – Halb und halb macht doppelt glücklich!". In the story Pembo has to leave its dear home village in Turkey and move to Germany, "the most terrible country in the world". But in the end everything is not as bad as Pembo thinks in the beginning... 

Three children in a ring reading. Illustration: Warda Ahmed

Discussion | 21.10.201, 15-17 CET | online
Diversity in the children’s book market

How diverse is the children’s book industry? Who are the players in the field? How do the publishing houses work both in Germany and abroad to push equal participation in the book market for everyone, so that all the children and their families can find books to identify with? In the context of the Frankfurter Buchmesse, the project “DRIN – Visions for Children’s Books” organizes a panel discussion relating the topic.

The “DRIN” project © EL BOUM

Workshops | 6.-31.10.2021 | Kinderboekenmuseum Den Haag
Werden, was du willst!

Van 6 t/m 31 oktober staat ‚Worden wat je wil‘ centraal in het Kinderboekenmuseum. Het is dit jaar het thema van de Kinderboekenweek en waar je kun je nu beter ontdekken wat het inhoudt om schrijver te worden? In een boek kan alles! 

The “DRIN” project © EL BOUM

Book club | WED 13.10.2021, 7 pm | online
DRIN: Children's books for everyone #6

Welcome to the DRIN book club to discuss diverse children’s literature! Guests this time: the author Sope Martins and the illustrator Abdulkareem Baba Aminu present the books Teju's Shadow and The Greatest Animal in the Jungle by Sope Martins, and There's an Elephant in My Wardrobe and Juba And The Fireball by Yejide Kilanko. 

The “DRIN” project © EL BOUM

Readings | 24.9.2021-31.3.2022 | online
FRIDAY READINGS

In collaboration with the German Academy for children and youth literature the project DRIN co-hosts Friday evening reading sessions. Via Zoom a variety of authors will be reading their stories and converse with the audience. 

Children with books © Kolíbri

Storytelling marathon | 26.9.2021 | Vernissa, Vantaa
Storytelling marathon at KOLIBRÍ FESTIVAALI

Kolibrí, an art festival for children in the Metropolitan area, organizes a multilingual storytelling afternoon for listeners from 4 years of age. Stories will be read in German, Somali, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and French. The event also focuses on diverse children’s books from Europe since these books – with regard to authorship, characters and plots – are still far from being as diverse as the children speaking those languages and the societies they grow up in.

The “DRIN” project © EL BOUM

Workshop | 17.9.2021, Goethe-Institut Irland
WHO'S IN YOUR BOOK? DIVERSITY IN STORIES FOR CHILDREN

Storyteller Simone Schümmelfeder introduces new children’s books written in German as well as books from Ireland and discusses them with children. The young audience is invited to share their ideas of diversity in books.

The “DRIN” project © EL BOUM

Book club | WED 15.9.2021 | online
DRIN: CHILDREN'S BOOKS FOR EVERYONE #5

Welcome to the DRIN book club to discuss diverse children’s literature! The fifth book club is with the researcher Aminkeng A. Alemanji, the topic is Alemanji´s study regarding the children's book "Bibi muuttaa Suomeen" (Bibi moves to Finland) by Katja Kallio and Maggie Lindholm and with Mona Eid who gives a book tip for educators and impressions from her podcast "Kaikkien koulu?"

Fünf Personen im Kreis mit Glühbirne und Schreibmaschine Graphik: EL BOUM

Practices of writing children's books for BIPOC (Ulla-Hahn-Haus)

The current tendencies and positions regarding the diversity in children's literature will be discussed in the form of presentations and lectures. 

Diversity in German children's literature is an important topic especially from the perspective of representation and different perspectives. That is why this event series concentrates on the potential of BIPOC writers. 

The “DRIN” project © EL BOUM

WED 18.8.2021 | Book club
DRIN: Children's books for everyone #4

Welcome to the DRIN bookclub! This fourth book club will be joined by Jolana Pons and Vera Göckelmann from "Sei kein Hasenfuß e.V.". Join us in the discussion!

Drei Vierecke aufeinander, an denen Körperteile gezeichnet sind. © El Boum

Workshop | 17.8.2021
DRIN @ Sparkplug-Festival

How to approach character building with focus on non-binary figures. How do you draw someone outside the gender binary? What are the things to consider? How can we empower each other through drawing? EL BOUM and Warda Ahmed host a workshop in Gothenburg/ Sweden.

The “DRIN” project © EL BOUM

02.-07.08.2021 | Workshop
DRIN Writing Workshop

Children’s books are becoming more and more diverse, reflecting the reality in a diverse society. Still, the writers of those books are still rarely as diverse as the society itself, authors of Color, with experiences of racism, migration and/or flight, are strongly underrepresented on the children’s book market. Thus, this workshop aims at empowering BIPOC that are interested in or are already writing books for children.

The “DRIN” project © EL BOUM

Discussion | THU 05.08.2021
Writing for BIPOC children

At the event in Oodi, the participants discuss about their experiences with a writing workshop: What kind of stories have they worked on in the workshop? What is special about writing for (BIPOC ) children? What is it like to work as a BIPOC writer in Finland? What kind of a world would we like to write for children? What are the utopias and dreams of the participants and instructors?

Logo Bibliothekartag 2021 Bibliothekartag 2021

FRI 18.6.2021, 12-13 EET
DRIN at Deutscher Bibliothekartag 2021

Who writes the children's books that we find in bookshops and libraries? The participants to the discussion bring their own view of children's book and represent different positions on the topic. 

The “DRIN” project © EL BOUM

Book club | 16.06.2021
DRIN: Children's books for everyone #3

Welcome to the DRIN book club to discuss diverse children’s literature! The third book club will be with the editor Arina Stoenescu based in Sweden and Gabriele Koné from ista – Institut für den Situationsansatz, Berlin. Welcome to join!

Children with globe Getty Images

Thu 03.06.2021, 1-2 pm EET
Diversity as a knowledge perspective for the intersectional education

Panel discussion during the conference for "Rasism sensitive Education and Teaching in Schools and Universities". Chantal-Fleur Sandjon from the DRIN-project takes part.

Illustration: Children of different skin colours with the project name DRIN Illustration: EL BOUM

Book club | Wed 19.5.2021, 19-20
DRIN - Children's Books for everyone #2

Welcome to the DRIN book club to discuss diverse children’s literature! This time with the illustrator Warda Ahmed and Gabriele Koné (ista – Institut für den Situationsansatz). For everyone reading, making and using children's books!

Stop Hatred Now Logo. Photo (Detail): #StopHatredNow/Antti Kekki

Wed 19.5.2021, 12-13.15 EET
DRIN at the #StopHatredNow-platform

The intercultural and anti-racist platform #StopHatredNow takes place virtually in May. The event creates new discourse on diversity, inclusivity, power structures and intersectionally feminist strategies. This year’s theme is Reshaping Horizons of Hope.

Illustration: Children of different skin colours with the project name DRIN Illustration: EL BOUM

Wed 5.5.2021, 9.30-13.30 EET
Sri Lanka: DRIN - Visions for Children's books

A webinar in the context of the DRIN-project by the Goethe-Institut Sri Lanka, in collaboration with the Sri Lankan Ministry of Education, the SLBbY, Read Plus Foundation, Room to Read and the National Institute of Library and Information Sciences (NILIS), University of Colombo.

Vier Menschenfigure mit Büchern in den Händen. Blumen im Vordergrund. © Mira Piitulainen

Webinar | Wed 28.4.2021, 1-4 pm (EET)
Towards a more diverse literature for children: A meeting-point and how to get started

What kind of books do we need so that all children feel included in the stories? We invite all new and existing children’s authors, illustrators and publishers as well as everyone working with children’s literature to attend our webinar.

Illustration: Children of different skin colours with the project name DRIN Illustration: EL BOUM

Book club | Wed 21.4.2021, 7-8 pm
DRIN: Children's books for everyone #1

Welcome to the DRIN book club to discuss diverse children’s literature! In each meeting there will be 2-3 book introductions followed by discussion and exchange of thoughts and ideas. Everyone is welcome to the book club: parents, teachers, kindergarten teachers, librarians as well as everyone else working with or using children’s books.

Illustration von Menschen unterschiedlicher Herkunft, die um einen Tisch stehen. Illustration: Jenny Lucander

Webinar 11.11.2020, 16-18 Uhr
Diversität in der Illustration von Kinderbüchern

Wie lassen sich alternative, unterrepräsentierte Narrative von Stimmen und Bildern auf dem Buchmarkt einführen? Verschiedene Illustratorinnen beleuchten das Thema aus ihren eigenen Perspektiven und berichten über die Situation in Finnland. Ebenso öffnen sie das Thema mit illustratorischen Beispielen und mit Hilfe von Bild-Analysen.

Illustration: Children of different skin colours with the project name DRIN Illustration: EL BOUM

Webinar | THU 04.06.2020, 2-6 pm (EET)
DRIN - Visions for children's literature Vol. 2 (International)

A webinar on children's literature, diversity and representation with perspectives from Germany, the United Kingdom and Sweden.

Soap Bubble in different colours Photo: Alexas_Fotos auf Pixabay

Webinar | FRI 15.05.2020, 10-12
DRIN - A Webinar on Visions for Children's Books part 1 (Finland)

A webinar that aims to share insights into the field of children’s literature: how to get access into the publishing world, how to find colleagues/ partners who are interested in the same topics to work on together? - Participation via open call-application only.

Pile of children's books Photo: Annie Spratt/ Unsplash

Discussion | MON 02.12.2019 | Oodi
Diversity in children’s literature

The journalist Fridtjof Küchemann (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung), the illustrator El Boum (Jasmina El Bouamraoui), the author and diversity trainer Chantal-Fleur Sandjon and the Finnish comic artist, teacher and activist Warda Ahmed discussed diversity within children’s literature.

Ein kleines Mädchen sitzt auf einer Wiese und schaut ein Buch an. Foto: MI PHAM (Unsplash)

Työpaja | MA 26.11.2018 | Turku
Decanonising Children's Literature?

Workshop in der Stadtbibliothek Turku im Stadtteil Varissuo, organisiert vom Goethe-Institut zusammen mit dem ”Children’s library project” der Åbo Akademi und Lukukeskus (Finnish Reading Centre).


Materials

On this page we collect materials from events of the project. The materials are freely accessible. If you have questions or comments, we gladly establish contacts to the persons who have created the materials.


Links

Open book on blue canvas Copyright: Every Story Matters-projekti

Every Story Matters

Everybody has a right to discover literature and to create stories, irrespective of their socio-economic or cultural background, gender, sexual preference or mental and physical abilities. Yet not all of us have an equal opportunity to do so.

That is something the Europe-wide project Every Story Matters – making books more inclusive aims to change. The project wants to encourage the creation of more inclusive books for children and young adults, and to give book professionals (including publishers, librarians and editors) the tools and the strategies needed to become more inclusive and make diversity mainstream. 

Collage of photos by participants of a workshop for illustrators and authors in Nigeria. © Goethe-Institut/ Lucid Creative

Reading Promotion in Nigeria
Storymakers

Two five-day workshops for children's book illustrators and authors, facilitated by Baba Aminu Abdulkareem and Ute Krause, took place in Nigeria in March 2019 and March 2020. The workshops' aim was: to develop affordable children's books for the Nigerian market, which tell imaginative, yet realistic, stories that reflect the country's social and cultural environment.

Illustration: Children of different skin colours with the project name DRIN Illustration: EL BOUM

DRIN - Children's literature

Examples of children's books from the library of the Goethe-Institut.

Paint brushes Photo: Rhondak | Unsplash.com

Book recommendations

The German Academy for Childrens' and Youth Literature has composed a list of books to offer impulses towards an integrative (reading) culture. The list collects a representative selection of books about children/ people of color.

A laughing young man and the Latitude logo Photo (Detail): © Getty Images, Logo: Tobias Schrank

Online-Magazine
DRIN as part of Latitude

With the online magazine “Latitude”, the Goethe-Institut provides a platform for global discourse on colonial power relations, their consequences and how to overcome them. In interviews, essays and a range of other formats, the magazine highlights issues such as decolonisation, preservation of indigenous cultures, the role of museums, restitution and dealing with cultural heritage.
 

Logo #Stophatrednow Photo: #Stophatrednow

#StopHatredNow

#StopHatredNow is an intercultural and anti-racist platform that strives to create discourse and offers tools to create a more inclusive, diverse and feminist art field. This list collects material that deals with diversity, racism and (post-)colonialism.


Project creators

Self-portrait of the illustrator EL BOUM with rainbow and flowers Iluustration: EL BOUM

EL BOUM

EL BOUM, Jasmina El Bouamraoui, is a German-Moroccan illustrator from Berlin. Her hand-drawn work has a fresh feel and invites the viewer to question clichés of all kinds.

Warda Ahmed Photo: Warda Ahmed

​Warda Ahmed

The comic-artist, teacher and illustrator Warda Ahmed lives and works in the Helsinki metropolitan area. As an anti-racist feminist, she takes part in the public discourse on structures that make our societies more unequal. At the moment, she works in the project “Comics and migration” that is funded by Kone Foundation. In her comics, Ahmed deals with the migration history of her family. With the working group Sisaret 1918 (Sisters 1918) she won the Finlandia prize for comics in 2019.  

Chantal-Fleur Sandjon Photo: Stefan Preuhs

Chantal-Fleur Sandjon

Chantal-Fleur Sandjon is a communication scientist, writer and editor. She has been working as a spoken-word artist, artistically accompanying post-colonial city walks, designing diversity workshops and working as an education officer at the Berlin Queer Education Unit. 


Partners


Contact

The project is based on cooperation. Please contact us if you are interested in collaborating with us!

Project coordination: Amiirah Salleh-Hoddin
Tel. +358 44 722 2704
amiirah.salleh-hoddin@goethe.de

Project assistant: Siina Sammalisto
Tel. +358 44 7222703
siina.sammalisto@goethe.de
 

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