Same Meaning, Different Production

  • Jennifer Rowsell
Part of the Studies in Childhood and Youth book series (SCY)


When I think and read about meaning making and production, a favourite phrase comes to mind: two things can be equally true at the same time. What I admire about this phrase is that there are a number of stories and alternative realities that it invites. It reminds me that one can simultaneously feel conflicting emotions about the same idea in the same moment, or, to nuance this thought, the same idea can be depicted in multiple ways with a similar emotional outcome. The whole idea illustrates the entangled nature of emotions and embodied sensibilities, and ultimately the phrase allows for more agency in meaning making and production. Take the following two renditions of the concept of hope A poem and a photograph: both texts produced through different representational modes; in different genres; and with different aesthetic histories. In the poem, Maya Angelou captures the day-to-day struggles of anyone who feels fear, anger and sadness yet continues to hope and to persevere. The photo is of a young woman wearing a striking blue dress sitting in a streetscape alleyway. Taken by a high school student for an assignment on image archetypes, the title of the photo is The Maiden and her artist statement discusses how the photograph represents hope in the face of struggles. Both texts represent hope. Hope is personal and public; hope can be visual and written; hope is felt and enacted; hope is powerful sometimes, tokenistic other times. Yet, two versions of hope can be equally true at the same time.


Field Note Picture Book Body Awareness Visual Method Meaning Making 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Jennifer Rowsell 2015

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  • Jennifer Rowsell

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