Picturebooks in New Caledonia: challenging cultural hegemony for “Une école Calédonienne”

Boulard, Florence (2022) Picturebooks in New Caledonia: challenging cultural hegemony for “Une école Calédonienne”. Waikato Journal of Education, 27 (1). pp. 21-33.

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New Caledonia is a French overseas territory in the South Pacific with a long history of differing attitudes towards independence (Fisher, 2019). The local government aims to challenge French cultural hegemony by building a “New Caledonian School” (Gouvernement de la Nouvelle-Cal édonie, 2016). That is, a school in which students are exposed to resources that reflect the realities of the country and allow for marginalised groups to become more visible in the curriculum. It is through this context that this article investigates how children’s literature, in particular picturebooks, began developing in New Caledonia. Children’s literature in New Caledonia is a relatively new phenomenon. Using Gramsci’s theory of hegemony, the paper explains the history of picturebooks in New Caledonia and their role in the curriculum. The official language of New Caledonia is French, but there are also 28 Kanak languages. Surrounded by Anglophone nations, such as Australia and New Zealand, education policies were put in place on this island to introduce English to students from primary school (Bissoonauth-Bedford, 2018). As a result, this article describes and analyses a bilingual picturebook written in French and English by Stephane Moysan (2017), entitled Yana’s Treasure: An Amazing Trip in New Caledonia. In particular, it reviews how this picturebook provides opportunities to bring to consciousness essential elements of Pacific French culture and identity both within and beyond the New Caledonian context.

Item ID: 71146
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2382-0373
Keywords: New Caledonia; cultural hegemony; education; children’s literature; Picturebook; Melanesian culture
Copyright Information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Date Deposited: 19 May 2022 03:32
FoR Codes: 47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4705 Literary studies > 470506 Children's literature @ 50%
39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390399 Education systems not elsewhere classified @ 25%
45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4514 Pacific Peoples education > 451402 Embedding Pacific Peoples knowledges, histories, culture, country, perspectives and ethics in education @ 25%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1302 Communication > 130203 Literature @ 50%
28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280109 Expanding knowledge in education @ 25%
21 INDIGENOUS > 2110 Pacific Peoples education > 211099 Pacific Peoples education not elsewhere classified @ 25%
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