The Children’s Republic, an exclusive kids only zone, asks children to formulate their ideal nation, described with national symbols: flags, an anthem, a constitution and national dress. What rules would there be? What values are important?
Children’s Republic flag, for Casula Powerhouse, 2015
The project will culminate in a parade through the streets.
The workshop/installation is made up of worktables which assist kids to make each of these national symbols. Each is run by an artist who has experience working with kids. Flags and costumes are made with sewing machines and hot glue guns; words for the constitution are writ large on posters and protest banners, which are then incorporated into an anthem by a musician. As the objects are made and words written, they fill the space, strung up on lines which criss-cross the turbine hall.
Materials are collected prior to the event, and are mostly re-used or recycled. This represents not only a commitment to sustainability, but also a focus on the content created and the accessibility of anyone to make and create.
Exclusion of adults is an important element of the installation, as it gives kids autonomy within the space. Where else do kids have the run of a place? Adults are permitted at the sides from where they can see the kids playing.
The main installation is designed for children from 4-12 years of age. The different stations cater to a range of capabilities, understanding and leadership. Tactile tasks are intended for younger kids, while the word based, writing and ‘big ideas’ ones are aimed more at an older age. Of course, all sections are open to 4-12 yo, and older children could also take part.
The installation would best be suited to be installed for 4-5 days, with 6 or so hours each day. We anticipate families dropping in for 1-2 hours. We will ask all participants to return on the last day for a parade leaving from the venue. On this last day, the Anthem artist will run a session re-teaching the Children’s Republic anthem. All participants, led by the agents will wear their national dress, carry their banners with sentiments of the constitution, and fly their flags through the streets