Item description for Wendy Ewald: American Alphabets by Wendy Ewald...
In this artist's book, Wendy Ewald (Secret Games), a conceptual photographer, investigates the ability of language to create barriers or alliances between groups according to gender, age, and race. In collaboration with children she created four alphabets: a Spanish alphabet with English-as-a-Second-Language students in North Carolina, an African-American alphabet with students at an elementary school in Cleveland, a White-Girls alphabet at a boarding school in Massachusetts, and an Arabic alphabet with students at a middle school in Queens, New York. The book offers an astonishing, playful, and profound look at written language and its power from various cultural perspectives. Ewald raises provocative questions about contemporary society, its divisions and the social power of language, at once liberating and oppressive. The book combines language with photographic images allowing us to see ourselves in a fresh light!My first encounter with language was the alphabet printed in children's alphabet books. In retrospect, I understand that the words and visual examples these books used to represent letters---a picture of a shiny new car, say, for the letter C---affirmed the world view of the white middle-class girl I happened to be. I grew up assuming that this conformity of written expression to one's world held true for all children.These projects confirmed the vivid tensions between our formal"ruling" language and the valence of language for people who do not share many assumptions of the general culture. They underlined the way in which the alphabet, the literal font of our literacy, expands our understanding of the self.---Wendy Ewald
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 12" Width: 10" Height: 0.7" Weight: 2.9 lbs.
Release Date Dec 30, 2005
Publisher Scalo Publishers
ISBN 3908247810 ISBN13 9783908247814
Availability 0 units.
More About Wendy Ewald
Wendy Ewald is a writer, photographer, and teacher dedicated to children's issues. Her photos have appeared in The New York Times, Elle, Harper's, and DoubleTake, among others, and are included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the International Center of Photography. She has received numerous prizes for her work, among them a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a MacArthur Fellowship. The poems and photographs in this book are drawn from Literacy Through Photography, a program she originated in the Durham, NC public schools.
Wendy Ewald currently resides in Rhinebeck, in the state of New York.