CM Archive
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Deborah Barndt, Feme Cristall, and Dian Marino.

Toronto, Between the Lines, c1982.
110pp, paper, $16.95 (cloth), $8.95 (paper).
ISBN 0-919946-28-3 (cloth), 0-919946-29-1 (paper).

Grades 12 and up.
Reviewed by Susan Morrison.

Volume 11 Number 6.
1983 November.

On one level, Getting There is intended to serve as an instructional guide for ESL groups who wish to produce photostories as part of their learning-together experience. To this end, the text acts as a how-to frame for two photostories: the first following the difficulties encountered by an Ecuadorian immigrant, Gloria, as she tries to get to a new job by herself, no mean task for someone who cannot read the English signs, and the second outlining a Portuguese woman's attempts to find a more meaningful job after she separates from her husband. Both of these stories emphasize the loneliness and insecurity of immigrant women who are not comfortable with the language or culture of their new country. One of the main points to be made by Getting There is that this individual isolation can be broken by group awareness through sharing and supporting each other. The production of a photostory, which brings together individual histories and group activity, promotes such co-operation.

On another level, this book is a polemic against the image of woman as glamour object so central to contemporary advertising. Not only do each of the subjects of the two photostories reflect at some point about the ways in which they, as real (non-WASP) women differ from the ideal (WASP) women presented in ubiquitous advertisements and posters, but there is included a chapter that deals with just this problem, "Advertising and Women: Cultural Obstacles to Speaking Out." The last chapter outlines activities for continued group discussion and production.

As far as students go, I am not sure this book would be very useful, as its focus is so heavily oriented towards the working immigrant woman. It might have some importance for an understanding of the problems encountered by these women, however, and for that reason, I would recommend this book.

Susan Morrison, N. A. Boylen S. S., North York, ON.
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