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 countries today reflect the increasingly diverse societies in which we live, or does it make a growing proportion of its young population invisible?
ABOUT THE PROJECT
The focus of the project lies on representation regarding children of colour – always with an intersectional approach. With the term “intersectional” we mean the way in which different types of discrimination (i.e. unfair treatment because of racism, sexism, classism, ableism etc.) are linked to and affect each other. As the Black, lesbian poet and activist Audre Lorde put it: “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”
Since equal participation is a key question facing increasingly diverse societies, the DRIN project addresses the need to empower and enable everyone to participate in our societies. How can alternative, under-represented narratives, voices and images be introduced? What good examples can we share? And what can the various players in this field – authors, illustrators, publishers, libraries, and readers – learn from each other?
Promoting knowledge exchange, empowerment, networking, capacity building, awareness raising and securing outcomes in a global context are the main objectives of the project. To secure the intended outcomes, based on the project experiences and events, a guide will be developed which will identify needs, list criteria and frame visions for a more plural children’s literature. The guide will keep knowledge transfer going, even after the end of the project. Another goal of the project is book production. Examples of best practice from around the world will also be brought together to create an archive that will provide inspiration for translations and to create more books that reflect the diversity of our societies.
How can alternative, underrepresented narratives, voices and images be introduced into the book market? What good examples can we share? And what can the various actors in this field - authors, illustrators, publishers, libraries and readers - learn from each other? The Goethe-Institut Sri Lanka is holding an introductory seminar on this subject with international guests.