Text topic: Strip and Identity
Text author: Драгана Радановић
Children books about difficult topics represent only a fraction of the available books. In children’s literature, the first–person narrative implies an adult author behind the child as a character. The imbalance between the narrative voice of an adult and the child focalizing character indicates power structures and impose an adult’s sentimental (and educational) ideas to the child reader. The same happened when I started creating a graphic novel about my own experience of the bombing, as a child. To avoid this pattern, I decided to make an authentic perspective of the child going through a traumatic event. This posed the following questions: To what extent is a graphic novel suited for departing from power structures in children’s literature? What is the significance of radical themes in creating the space for empowering children? Which elements of graphic narratives make the perspective of a fictional child authentic? This paper outlines the academic and practical research I undertook to answer these questions. It describes and emphasises the importance of authentic voice and perspective of children characters in the literature for children. It focuses on the importance of literature with radical themes in establishing the space for a fictional child to explore the world and empower its independent quests beyond the boundaries usually set in the children’s literature.Moreover, it presents the ways it can be used by an author to present the story from an authentic perspective of the child. It describes and justifies my choice of using interpretative frameworks from other fields of cultural studies to question how comics can be used to establish traditional power structures or depart from them. Finally, it summarises the ways my academic research influenced the practical research and enriched the creation of my book.