Humanizing Racist Giraffes

October 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

Over at the local museum there is a new temporary exhibit called “Race.” which I first assumed was about racecars…and that sort of thing. Turn’s out, it’s not about racing cars, but it’s actually about racism, very different. In one of my classes we had the opportunity to go and spend some time in the exhibit and have been given the task of visually communicating the message that “race emerged as a human concept in the 17th and 18th centuries.” Whoa, easier said then done! Needless to say this project has sparked some really great class discussion and oodles of research on most everyone’s part, trying to figure out their projects.

My project is going to be a children’s book about Racism. However I want it to be presented in an approachable friendly (as friendly as racism can be) way. So the basic plan so far, is to use giraffes, instead of people, to tell about racism and how it came to be and how to overcome it, an educational/motivational piece if you will. My first steps have been to research human racism and to also try to give human emotions to giraffes….also much easier said then done. Who woulda thought that giraffe faces don’t move the same way as human faces! And with the exception of Melvin on Madagascar, there really haven’t been a great many artists to undergo the challenge of bringing emotions to giraffe faces……I feel like I’m swimming in a great big ocean here.

This is just a little of what I’ve come up with so far. It’ll get there! slowly but surely. Next step is to write the manuscript and thumbnailing the scenes. Stay tuned for more Racist Giraffes 😉

You can check out the website that goes along with the exhibit here. (Link will open in a new window.)

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