Armin Greder

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Good afternoon/morning HSC students. My name is Armin Greder the illustrator of ‘The Island’ One of the ideas that I have always been fascinated in, is the interaction between individuals and society and how this influence’s our sense of belonging. My picture book ‘the island’ works metaphorically to show how social repression, fear and madness can create a context where those who are different are demonized, isolated and persecuted. In Arthur Miller’s famous play ‘the crucible’ the condemnation of others in Salem is based on revenge, jealousy and a misplaced sense of justice which makes our quest to belong much more difficult. An individual’s sense of belonging is based on society and the values reflected by that society. It is human nature to reject things that are not normal or does not fit in with our sense of reality. In our society, this can be based on visual appearance or fears about difference which will in turn, determine whether a person belongs, or does not belong. This was portrayed in my text through the suffering of the strange man who arrived on the island. Almost instantaneously, he was rejected and discriminated by the villagers living on the island due to his weak and horrifying appearance. The villagers were terrified on the man because they had a fear of difference and were compromised by social fear which affected their sense of belonging. I wanted to emphasis that the man did not belong, hence he was forced to live in a goat pen on the uninhabited part of the island. To reinforce the fact he did not belong, I drew him naked symbolizing that he is weak, harmless and vulnerable. His vulnerability was further symbolized with the contrast in size between him and the villagers since they were much bigger than him forming an imposing presence indicative of how we feel when presented with fears which overwhelms us. You may be familiar with Arthur Miller’s play ‘The Crucible’ which uses a symbol in its title much like my work to intensify the way...
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