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Visual representations of dementias in picture books for children

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Conference paper

Publication date23/11/2018
<mark>Original language</mark>English
EventWorking together: collaboration beyond the academy in research in dementia and culture - Institute of Modern Languages Research, University of London, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 23/11/2018 → …


ConferenceWorking together: collaboration beyond the academy in research in dementia and culture
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period23/11/18 → …


In recent years there has been a marked increase in the publication of illustrated picturebooks for young children that feature people with dementia. Many of these books are produced with the explicit intention of being used to help children understand and cope with changes in their relationships with older relatives living with dementia. Moreover, organisations such as the Alzheimer’s Society have produced lists of recommended books for families to use with young children. Previous studies examining dementia in children’s literature have revealed the tensions between educating and idealizing the child reader, as well as the need to maintain relationships between children and grandparents with dementia in the face of inevitable change. However, to date no studies have focussed primarily on the visual communication presented in the books, despite the fact that young children are frequently sophisticated decoders of visual information. This session will explore the preliminary findings from a visual analysis of 18 picturebooks about dementia. In particular, the session will examine the challenges of representing cognitive states visually, the contrast between visual and textual communication in the picturebooks and representations of the body in the depiction of dementia. As part of the session, there will be an opportunity for participants to respond to a selection of images and consider the visual representations of people living with dementia.