Worlds of Words in the University of Arizona College of Education launches “Visual Narratives: Connecting Across Languages and Cultures”, an exhibit of global picturebooks that tell stories primarily through visual images. The exhibit is inspired by the “Silent Books, from the World to Lampedusa and Back,” a traveling exhibit of global books from the International Board on Books for Young People. The exhibit is on display now through December 2019 with an open reception from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on July 25.
“Even though our exhibit is based on the IBBY ‘Silent Books’ exhibit, we decided to call ours ‘Visual Narratives’ rather than ‘silent’ or ‘wordless,'” says Rebecca Ballenger, Associate Director for WOW. “Visual Narratives more precisely conveys how a series of powerful images can capture the range of human emotion and deeper meanings to tell a story, using few or no words except in the title.”
IBBY’s Silent Books exhibit was created in 2012 in response to the waves of refugees from Africa and the Middle East arriving on the Italian island, Lampedusa. The project involved creating the first library on Lampedusa for local and immigrant children as a way to bridge cultures and languages. These books are on display in addition to books from the WOW global collection. The stories feature characters from around the world, often depicting multiple places, themes and issues. Five activities invite visitors to engage with the books on a deeper level, such as recalling acts of kindness, creating dialogue for the characters and analyzing problematic depictions.
“Visual narratives provide a space for viewers to bring their experiences and languages to create stories that range from playful to serious and from joyous to heartbreaking. Although some are directed to young children, many are sophisticated and engage adults as well as children,” says Kathy Short, WOW Director and professor of Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies.
This display of visual narratives will be available free to the public from July 1 to December 20 at Worlds of Words in the College of Education, Room 453. To schedule a group tour, complete our online booking form or email firstname.lastname@example.org. RSVPs to email@example.com are preferred but not required for the Visual Narrative reception.