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n Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa - Ins Fremde reisen
Das Jugendbuch als kulturelle Brücke bei Thomas Fuchs und Katja Brandis
Travels to foreign lands. German youth novels on Africa by Thomas Fuchs and Katja Brandis as a cultural bridge
In the age of globalisation modern societies have become increasingly culturally heterogeneous due to migration, advanced communication as well as growing mobility. Encounters with people from other cultures have thus become a normal occurrence. As a result, societies are faced with the challenge of finding appropriate ways to deal with this development. The role played by literature in the representation of other cultures is crucial and cannot be overemphasized. This paper seeks to examine two German adolescent novels on Africa Akwaaba, ein Sommer in Afrika (2006) by Thomas Fuchs and Gepardensommer (2009) by Katja Brandis by taking account of aspects of intercultural imagology. Both novels depict travels of the protagonists to African countries, where they are exposed to different cultural experiences. Despite thematic similarities around puberty, there are significant differences in the emphasis put on certain cultural depictions. The paper examines which images of Africa are represented and to what extent they may be seen as building bridges for intercultural understanding.
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