Volume 84-85, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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This paper presents an explorative study on the reception of visual messages in the public space of a village community in the Gambia. For this study, images of billboards and other signs along the main road were shown to 20 villagers. They were asked what the images represented and how they knew this. It appeared that the interpretation of visual messages was based on more than the decoding of graphic symbols alone. Other semiotic signs play an important role as well. Twelve different types of interpretation were identified. It was concluded that a dichotomy of literate versus illiterate does not capture the complexity of the distribution of reading skills in the society.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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