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Rights on Ribbons

“Children talk, and they have always talked, though their words are rarely listened to and leave no trace.

The words of children may at times seem strangely similar to our own, but they recall faraway and unknown worlds and meanings to which we as adults too often remain deaf and insensitive. Giving a voice to childhood thus means recognizing children’s right to be the primary authors of their lives. Giving a voice to children is the courageous adventure of this editorial series that urges us to open our ears and listen to this unheard voice.”

Sergio Spaggiari, 1995

Our children tell us what should be happening in their lives. They communicate in many ways, through touch, talk, laughter, and play. We have the opportunity to observe and ask the children about how they imagine their childhood at its best. What do they want to feel, see, hear and experience?

We will be taking an installation made for us by Interior Architecture students from Oxford Brookes to London on 24th June. The installation will depict a Tree of Rights on Ribbons (obviously MUCH bigger than the one in the picture!). The ribbons will be the descriptions given to all the settings taking part by the children. It’s very simple. The ribbons will need to be approximately two to three cm wide and any colour which can be written on, and each child’s voice should be on one ribbon – about 30-40 cm long. The voices should be children’s words, written by observing adults.

Cloth (of any colour) tied to trees is an ancient tradition throughout the UK and Ireland. The cloth is a sort of physical representation of a prayer or wish in which the help of Nature Spirits and Deities can be asked for any sort of problem, ambition or need.

However, we know that children have many ways of expressing themselves, and drawings and photos with descriptions can also be sent to us for inclusion by the end of May. Ribbons can be brought on the day or sent in advance.

Please send all artwork to The Children’s Garden, The Walled Garden, Colney Hall, Watton Road, Norwich NR4 7TY

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