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Read about African life in a different way and be a part of the story!
Read about African life in a different way and be a part of the story!
50 backers pledged $8,147 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Hi, my name is Tjaša Rener and I am a young artist, a painter and an illustrator. I get the energy and the inspiration for my work from a beautiful African country Ghana, where I decided to live. During my studies graphics attracted my interest immensely and it became an important part of my artistic work. I spent most of my time at the academy researching the graphic technique of the sieve printing(screen print) which I also used to print my book A Story from Africa. 

Artist with her book, Production 2010-2012, Exhibition in International Centre of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana
Artist with her book, Production 2010-2012, Exhibition in International Centre of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana

I have illustrated a few books but the book A Story from Africa is my first independent book. A Story from Africa is handmade and excellent in visual design. I printed and bound the book myself. The illustrations are from my sketchbook, I made them with local children, during my first staying in Ghana. They are a kind of a 'result' of a communication between the children from the remote village Anyinatiase and me. Their way of expression fascinated me so strongly I decided to leave my canvas and made a book instead.

This is a story about the real life in this village. The main character in the book and a teller of the story is a girl called Doris, who lives in the village and is my best friend. The book is an atlas, a dictionary, a cookbook, an ethnologic encyclopedia and a sketchbook at the same time. Children's drawings tell the story of life in the village through the eyes of the eleven years old girl. Sentences are simple and easy to understand also for the youngest readers. 

The contents of the story playfully and in a likeable manner show the life in a remote African village to the adult reader and the child alike. I wrote it in English, therefore, people from different parts of the world can read it, also the children in Ghana, and it encourages the children from all over the world to read.

The book’s format 30x40cm exceeds the format of a classic picture book. In choosing a format, its function prevailed. This book is not only an object for reading but also a coloring book and a sketchbook.

The book is printed on recycling paper, Cordenons Impressive Papers – FLORA FSC Noce 240g/m2 and it holds 48 pages. A few pages at the back of the book are blank for sketching. The cover of the book is printed in a relief print (blind printing).

A story from Africa, Me din de Doris/ My name is Doris
A story from Africa, Me din de Doris/ My name is Doris

A handmade bag completes the book. The linen bag is in natural colour and in the front, there is a pocket for postcards with motifs from the book and four pencils. The bag has an aesthetic and an applicable function – it is easier to carry around a book in a bag. At the same time, we have everything we need for drawing and writing at hand. We can also use the bag for other purposes, e.g. as a shopping bag.

Original handmade bag with postcards in the pocked
Original handmade bag with postcards in the pocked

I made 20 books and each of them is the same. At a first glance, the book seems to be a finished item but its contents invites the reader to cooperate, to interact. The book changes when a reader decides to interfere. The process of creation continues, it is transferred to the reader and it ends with the reader's intervention. By completing the book, a reader creates a unique, individual image of the book and becomes a co-author of my work.

First, I wanted to make a connection between the children from the African village and the children from the developed countries. In the times of fast growing technologies and abundance that mark the modern people, I wanted to bring near, especially to the children, the life that people in non-developed countries are living now. The book is beneficial also for the readers from the African countries. They link up through the story that is familiar to them and the book because of its interactive role encourages them to read.

Second, the book is not for reading only, its advantage is also in the active role of a reader who has to complete it. The interactive contents encourage a reader to identify with the story.

Children in the school complete content of the book, Anyinatiase, Ghana
Children in the school complete content of the book, Anyinatiase, Ghana

Books are for reading and their meaning is fulfilled when we read them. We can read if the book is accessible. The contents of the book A Story from Africa is educational and important in our time, and I would like to publish it and make it accessible to the readers all over the world. The aim of my project is to publish the book and bring its story to younger readers, and with its fine design, I would like to suit all the other book lovers, too. In Africa, it is difficult to buy a book (especially a picture book) and only a few people are able to read. A part of my project is to donate the book to the local schools, libraries and to the children, and thus encourage them to read more. The published book will be smaller variety, but design will be the same like original book.   

Your contribution will make publishing this book possible, bringing my story to you and many others. I hope you recognize the value in this work and will consider supporting it.

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Shopping bag with logo A story from Africa
Shopping bag with logo A story from Africa
T- shrts with printed logo from the book A story from Africa
T- shrts with printed logo from the book A story from Africa

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My special thanks goes to; 

Lucia Klanšek | business advisor

Vid Brezočnik | designer, press preparation

Matevž Cvetković | owner of Cocoa village guesthouse

Tomaž Kondrič | owner of Cocoa village guesthouse

Elvis Halilović | technical support

Amanda Mlakar | publisher and translator

Lara Lesjak | printing support

Andreja Sekavčnik | printing support

Photo: Urška Boljkovac, Bojan Senjur

Risks and challenges

Because I live in really remote place, without network, I won’t be able to give simultaneously answers, but I promise that I will reply a few times a week on your questions.

Every effort will be made to deliver your rewards by December 2013, but please understand if unforeseen circumstances cause delays.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    A big, big THANK YOU for your support!!! Through e-mail I will sand you one of my sketch images which I used for my ilustration in the book.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    You will get canvas shopping bag with handmade printed logo “A story from Africa” (screen print) on the first side of the bag.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    You can get a cotton T-shirt in natural color with a handmade printed motif from the book A Story from Africa (choose sizes S, M, L, XL, XXL). All T-shrts are printed in screen print tehniqe.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Set of hand printed postcards (screen print on recycling paper) with a motif from the book A Story from Africa (which you can see on our promotional video) is yours! All the cards are signed and you can use them as graphic or postcard.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    A STORY FROM AFRICA- one of printed edition books packed in canvas shopping bag is now yours!!!
    Please note: For 2 sold books we will donate one book to the children from the village Anyinatiase, Ghana

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $110 or more About $110

    Printed edition book A STORY FROM AFRICA+ set of original printed and signed postcards+ canvas shopping bag with the printed logo “A story from Africa” + a cotton T-shirt in natural color with a motif from the book A Story from Africa (choose size S, M, L, XL, XXL) are yours! Pleas note; for 2 sold books we will donate one book to the children from the village Anyinatiase, Ghana)

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $320 or more About $320

    Original handmade book (limited edition) + handmade linen bag (which you can see on our promotional video) + a set of hand printed postcards on recycling paper are yours!!!Book and postcards will be signed by author.

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    Pledge $320 or more About $320

    One of my original handmade book A STORY FROM AFRICA is alredy complited by a local children( book you can see in our promotional video)...This book is now yours!!!

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $570 or more About $570

    This is special offer;
    Spend two night in Cocoa village guesthouse(www.cocoa-village.com). Meet the author and get a personal contact with a local people, feel their way of life and complete the book with the children from Anyinatease village. You will also get original handmade book (limited edition) in handmade linen bag, with a set of hand printed postcards on recycling paper. Book and postcards are signed by author.

    Please note: You will be accommodated in family bungalow (1-4 people). You will get also breakfast and dinner for both days. Airplane ticket is not included.
    Book will be delivered by December 2013, but Special offer you need use to the end of December 2014.

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Funding period

- (30 days)