Escapism Through Literature

The children in Serbia have been bombarded with information upon information about the history of Serbia. This can sometimes start to feel overwhelming for children to take in, so by reading Uros Petrovic books they can take themselves into their own world where they can gain a sense of who they are through their imagination. Growing up we get lost in a world that manipulates our minds to think in a certain way as we are always being told what is right and what is wrong so by reading Uros’s books on epic fantasies it allows Serbian children to create their own sense of identity with their own imagination.

By indulging in to an epic horror fantasy it takes the mind into a place where individuals are allowed to identify their own cultural aspects. The layers that are now covering up the truth is only restricting young peoples minds to explore the real world.

In the paper of Constructing Identity, Identity construction by Susan J.Dowling she is trying to identify the affects her visual arts have on her audience. Through doing this she discovers that “A large part of self-understanding is the search for appropriate personal metaphors that make sense of our lives.” (29: 2011). So we connect with what we read and see by picking out what relates most to our personal thoughts and then from this individuals will form their own imagination. Dowling suggests that the more understanding we have of these metaphors is how we can then begin to understand the construction of our identity.

Uros Petrovic applies these same techniques when writing his books as he is allowing his audience to construct their own identity through what they read as this may be of more comfort to those children rather than having to live in the reality which is being forced onto them.

The personal metaphors that the children are relating to through Uros’s books is taking them away from the fakeness of their reality, as growing up they will become confused with what teachers, families or the media tells them. Serbian children now have to grow up in a world in which they have no true understanding of so their only escapism is now through visual arts and literature.

Dowling explains in her paper how “sometimes we quietly hide parts of our identity and other times we loudly project it”. (2:2011). Serbian children use the books as a form of escapism to create their own identity to find their true selves whereas the identity that they project is the identity which has been controlled and is not off their own accord. Two different types of identities have been created but the goal should be to allow Serbian children to express their personal identities out loud.

 

Dowling J, Susan. (7/10/2011) Constructing Identity, Identity Construction. [Accessed from] http://scholarworks.gsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1089&context=art_design_theses[27/04/2015]

Escapism Through Literature

RAJINDER AND HARPREET’S SUBGROUP RESEARCH INTEREST OVERVIEW

Our focus will be on post-war children’s television and whether the state of the cultural and political landscape at the ending of the war became intertwined within these media texts and, if so, how. We will be looking at children’s television programmes on mainstream channels, particularly Kanal D. This channel presents itself online with an ethos that suggests it may be a Serbian version of the UK’s BBC network, in that its purpose is to inform, educate and entertain. Though the channel broadcasts a wide range of media (dramas, reality shows, news bulletins etc.), it has a window especially for its children’s programmes for various age groups. Our analysis will look at these shows and how they portray socio-political ideologies in their language, depictions and attitudes.

Our research will also extend towards other popular children’s and pre-teen shows from 2000 until date. Should there be a quantified way for the programme ratings to be seen and measured, our analysis will go into what the main themes of the most popular television shows might be indicative of in wider society in Serbia. After gaining some insight into these ideologies, we will try to mark out a timeline of significant shifts or changes in the socio-political perspectives and try to unpack the factors that caused these attitudes to shift.

By doing this research, we aim to find out how identity formation has changed with the most recent generations in Serbia by beginning at some of the first socialising tools – children’s television. We intend to find out what the major changes in experiences of growing up in Serbia today reflect about the cultural, social and political mind-set of the country now compared to older generations; and whether relations with other countries and other external influences have affected this since the ending of the war. From this, we mean how programmes have possibly been gendered towards certain audiences; whether McDonaldisation has been a process in the production of these media texts; and how the main themes in the stories of the programmes have been reprioritised.

In doing this research, we hope to be in contact with producers of television programmes and interview willing participants of their opinions in the direction children’s media took at the end of the war, and what this means for the children in Serbia today in terms of their understanding of national identity. Professionals within the television production industry may also have insights to share on what they think could be the future implications of younger generations being only partially aware of their country’s history and previous cultures. We also hope to explore the wider impacts of the closing down and reconstruction of major television networks in Serbia through interviews with experienced television producers as well as general audiences. We hope to find from these conversations opinions from the older, politically aware generations about knowing that the younger generations in Serbia are being schooled and socialised in a way that modifies remnants of life in Serbia before the war.

RAJINDER AND HARPREET’S SUBGROUP RESEARCH INTEREST OVERVIEW

Media Representations.

We create an image of a country and peoples culture from what we read and see in the news. As we don’t live in Serbia we can only believe what we hear in the news, but there is no confirmation that this is the true representation of Serbia. The same process is applied for people living in Serbia thinking what life is like in the United Kingdom. Foucault’s theory about the continuous cycle of discourse is applied in this context, as the news on both sides is always repetitive as we are focused on believing that this one belief is the truth due to the discourse.

After having a brief look at the guardian newspaper online compared to the Press Online, which is a Serbian newspaper, I identified that Serbia portray their own country as a “good home town” as the most common news stories were related to the weather or about the congestion on the roads. However when I looked at their news about the rest of the world it starts to show more serious issues. So it showed that they are trying to portray their own country to be the perfect place however this may not be the case as it could be a completely different story when being in Serbia. But we will read this and believe this as being an outsider we crate the image from what we read of what Serbia is like.

Looking at the Guardian newspaper of the news in Serbia it shows many headings of the feuds going on in Serbia. Whether it is about football or about the wars. This is the only news we hear about Serbia so we will look at it as a place that is deadly to go to when matter in fact there is much more to Serbia that we don’t know about as we are not educated through the news about the reality of living in Serbia. This is the information I took from both papers after a quick glance. But to understand more into the discourse on both sides I will continuously keep up to date with the news and learn more about the Serbian culture.

Media Representations.