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Willem Boshoff

Award: Wood Pencil

Wood Pencil / Writing For Design / Graphic Design / 2006

The poster is for the emponymously named book, a retrospective of the works of South African artist Willem Boshoff. Alternating lines of copy were written in English and in Zulu. The Zulu copy consisted of lyrics from protest songs and was printed in large, bold-face capital letters. The English copy ran directly beneath each line, in very fine print. The poster polarised viewers along racial lines. Black people could read the Zulu copy from a distance, while white people who could not understand the vernacular went right up to the work to peer closely at the English copy running beneath, in the belief that it was the translation of the Zulu. The poster used one of Boshoff's own techniques to stimulate interest in the book by bringing to life an issue that he repeatedly explored in his work - the dominance of English and the fact that few white South Africans ever try to learn a black language.

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