This is a sample student project with designer’s notes that code-meshes American English, West African English, French, as well as Bambara and Wolof throughout. Code-meshing is used to achieve communication success with the multilingual community that the author wanted to reach out to. Click here to view or download the presentation as a PDF. For the full effect, download the power point version (.pptx file), which includes audio.
As I was planning out my “Dear Parents” presentation, my goal was to make it as relatable as I possibly could. My target audience was West African parents, and being from Mali put me in a unique position. I could use my own background and my intimate knowledge of the culture to make my presentation more familiar to my audience. I wanted them to see the presentation as coming from one of their own, not as a stranger who is trying to impose their ways onto them. To accomplish just that, my presentation speaks to them in their own various tongues and takes advantage of certain cultural notions to drive my point. I have even included an acoustic version of a widely popular Nigerian song called “African Queen” to accompany the presentation. All of these efforts were made not only to make the presentation more relatable but also more palatable as my message is still somewhat controversial and goes against certain customs. Due to the sensitive topic my presentation addresses, it would be best to show it when spirits are already high as in during important traditional ceremonies. I am referring to three in particular: the birth and naming of a child, coming of age rites of passage, and marriage. These are also the times I think my presentation will have the most impact as the topic would be very relevant and people would be more receptive to my message.