Visual Communication
Degree Show 2021

Emma Van De Werken
Paper Trails


Studio Leader
Zoe Sadokierski
Written throughout the 1930s, The Post Office Girl was an incomplete fiction novel left considerably fragmented among the literary remains of Austrian-Jewish author, Stefan Zweig. After being considerably reworked, Zweig’s novel was first published posthumously in 1982 and since then publishers have patched together the translated manuscript, reworking and re-editing over nine new editions. While books like The Post Office Girl have been preserved, most ephemeral artefacts that document the past—ration cards, telegrams, letters, train tickets—have only survived by chance.

Paper Trails is a publication which examines how ephemeral artefacts could function as storytelling devices that expand a reader's understanding and interpretation of a historic fiction novel. By illustrating ephemeral artefacts that Stefan Zweig implictly and explicitly references in The Post Office Girl, this two-part publication facilitates reflection on the narrative potential of historic ephemera. Paper Trails uses ephemera as a playful medium to bridge the gap between fascinating historic fiction novels and their context to our contemporary world.

UTS School of Design, Faculty of Design
Architecture and Building
UTS acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, the Boorooberongal people of the Dharug Nation, the Bidiagal people and the Gamaygal people, upon whose ancestral lands our university stands. We would also like to pay respect to the Elders both past and present, acknowledging them as the traditional custodians of knowledge for these lands.