Analysis of the Written Word

After looking at Four different quotes, I had to produce at least three finished visuals inspired by the selected quotes.

Dear friends, on 9 October 2012, the Taliban shot me on the left side of my forehead. They shot my friends, too. They thought that the bullets would silence us, but they failed. And out of that silence came thousands of voices.

-Malala Yousafzai

I  already know some background information about her as I have studied her in High School. I managed to look into where this quote was said and why.

Research below

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Malala is a Pakistani Activist for female education & the youngest noble prize laureate. This quote was delivered to defiant riposte to Taliban militants with speech to the UN General Assembly in 2013 (Malala was 16 years old at the time).

In 2012, She was shot by the Taliban, targeted by a masked gunman & her speech doesn’t condemn for revenge. Her speech was to make people aware of her situation, the difficulties woman face in many counties when it comes to education. Furthermore, she tries to promote a message of love & mutual respect for all, regarding of race, gender, colour and religion.

“Our words can change the whole world because we are all together, unified for the cause of education.” -Malala Yousafzai

Looking back at the quote, I started to highlight words that sparked an idea in my head.


“Thousand of voices” 


Thinking of the different ways of representing the final images, I wanted to create something simple & straightforward like her speech. The illustrations would look like something out of editorial magazine or posters.

For artist references, I looked at Anna Kövecses, Waldemar Strempler, Adam Hale & Boris Schmitz.

Sketchbook below

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As for my final three visuals, I wanted to represent words from the quote based on Malalas background.

When I started looking further into my chosen words, I started to think of different ways of representing them.

For ‘Freedom’ I thought of words like liberty, power, privilege & opportunity. This then made me think of the Statute of Liberty & posters for freedom. I wanted to combine these two to create an image but felt it was too ‘American’ as she is from Pakistan. Since Malala is United Nations Messenger of Peace, I thought of creating a flag, something that represents who she is.

‘Silence’. Stillness. Secrecy. It’s like being all alone, floating in mid-air with no strings attached. I started to think about places I see myself ‘alone’, they were all related to water and different noises. I would either have Malala or something that represents who she is, floating on water, a bubble or space…

As for ‘Thousand of Voices’, they sound like cries & calls. Someone who represents, something that is loud. Faces. Faces everywhere.

The reason behind each visual:

  • Freedom: Malala wanted to have girls get free education, be free to study without the terror or the Taliban, or anything in general.  The blue represents freedom, the fist represents power and the background is the negative words said to her that she is stepping over.
  • Thousand of voices: Malalas attack have caused millions of voices to speak out. She is representing different countries and woman who are facing problems.
  • Silence: Silence to me is being underwater, you feel alone. I created a bubble with Malalas scarf floating around in.

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