Using the concept “recreation-education-awareness” CHILD OF PLAY (through its operational branches) is conceived as an initiative which aims at promoting universal values to children and youth through art and culture in a playful and recreational atmosphere. Being active both in places where social and ethical values are at stake, Child of Play intends to foster self-consciousness, respect, tolerance and engagement which are considered to be pillars for empowering the children.
Our approach and concept is developing innovative education through empathy, commitment and a work ethos, allowing the children to express them-selves on something which is bigger than them, both physically and intellectually by combining playful education and sharing artistic skills with the young generations. At the same time we are working on a transformation of the documentation of this real-life-people co-operations into a piece of art. This „result“ is intended to be utilized as educational tool itself for lots of other children and young generations by provoking questions and debate, and like this spreading awareness for the essential values which all the young generations shall have the chance to build their future on.
Our initiative is structured in a unique way to involve and benefit from partnerships to ensure that all projects lead to an investment in the future of children and the young generation and do not remain a one-off “event”.
- Instill Universal Values to Children and Youth in line with the UN guidelines in particular the Right to Play which is essential for the sound growth of each child
- Create bridges among cultures and traditions by attaining at the respect for commonly shared values
- Understand Art as a mean to build sustainable community spirits by promoting responsibility-sharing among the communities (schools, recreational centers, sport associations, humanitarian entities / NGOs. )
- To ensure a sustainable approach through art which will paths positively the children’s future
- Art and Culture become the vectors to instill Values in a spirit of togetherness.
- A call to action that aims at crossing borders and going beyond gender and cultural differences by giving the children a “voice” through the power of images.
OUR STRATEGIC VISION
- The sensitive topics of concern are treated with playful creativity and are an integral part of our team of professional artists’ and educators’ commitment. The full motivation of local structures / entities / communities are a crucial component to encourage human and cultural exchanges, integration and to create awareness. Based on our past working experience, topics of concern have been identified as being: Human Rights, Children Rights, Refugees, Environmental Issues, Sports Values.
- The artistic realization of this joint and fertile exchange process aims at encouraging further consolidation of integration, self-consciousness and awareness at various levels: from the local/regional sphere in public spaces to international events, exhibitions and through medias to promote awareness of these sensitive issues to a large audience.
- Art and artistic processes are able to build bridges through positive, motivating and stimulating approaches – specially, when youth is involved – and it is our vision to see these objectives and mission on a sustainable level.
CHILD OF PLAY, launched in 2016, is the new umbrella brand name of various initiatives and projects initiated since 2009, (anciently grouped under the name „Let the Children Play”) and becomes at the same time the junction and platform of all related operational branches since (Play Foundation London, Verein KulturSpiel Vienna, asbl Human R Brussels, Verein The Fairy Play Vienna).
Major activities have been realized in a number of countries including South Africa, Libya, Cape Verde Islands, Austria, Belgium and Jordan (Zaatari Refugee Camp). What has initially been an ad-hoc venture became rapidly an internationally acknowledged and supported Art & Culture initiative with the following general achievements:
- Establishment of a healthy, genuine and quality artistic & creative education approach by enhancing motivation and stimulation of all participants and providing a structure for contents and guidelines targeting a final ambitious goal.
- Constant research and assessment in line with relevant sensitive topics and in coordination with the relevant partner organizations with the aim to embed an Initiative at the right moment and location.
- Presentations and exhibitions of successful interactions involving local partners and communities, display and promotion of the Initiatives’ contents at international venues which offers a large scope of opportunities for presentation and promotion through relevant international organizations.
- Development of educational tools on top of the Initiatives’ results to guarantee a sustainable use of a single project on a useful long term, wide level.
To provide a better insight of our strategic vision it seems constructive to offer quite detailed outlines of the major achievements accomplished and underline all international relationships.
The HUMAN RIGHTS Project, 2010
- involving 200 children in a township school and community near Johannesburg
- international artists and crafts people run creative workshops with the school for a 7 month period
- the visual results of the workshops are 25 monumental photographs describing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights visually
- the photographs go back in large format prints to the school & local community
- the project is displayed at the United Nations Council of Human Rights in 2012 (Geneva) and in public space exhibitions in Brussels (European Quarter) and Vienna (Museums Quartier) reaching thousands of spectators during the football World Cup 2010 for a three month period.
- up to now over 60.000 Euros went back to the local township school project through photography charities.
- visual outcomes of the project were used (and offered for free) to an Amnesty International Campaign in Germany in 2012.
- up to now involving over 1000 children, 9 schools and various partner organizations in 4 countries on three continents – more to come.
- international artists run specific creative & educational workshops with the partner-schools & organizations each time for a 4 to 10 weeks period.
- the results are: 4 monumental impressive unique photographs, hundreds of children portraits, hundreds of children drawings, 50 hours of film material, 4 making of movies, two wooden stages, wooden sculptures, …
- the photographs go back to the school/partner organizations for their use, all crafts built throughout the project remain the property of schools/entities.
- the project is displayed for first time in 2014 with a enormous media response at the European Forum Alpbach Austria, the Kunstforum Bank Austria Vienna, Le Brass in Brussels and in 2015 at the European Council at Strasbourg.
- so far through charities the sustainability of this project is guaranteed.
The FAIRY PLAY Project, 2012- on going
- realization in 2012 involving over 300 children, 3 schools, Olympic Solidarity Program and the Olympic Academy of Libya – all this at a time of political unrest, a time when children were at their most vulnerable.
- international artists and sportsmen worked with the children on human & ethic values through sport for a 2 week period in a UNESCO world heritage site, the Sabratha roman amphitheatre.
- thanks to the involvement of local cultural and sportive authorities, the project could focus on the children education for sports values and cultural heritage.
- the results are: an educational event-day involving 300 children & youth and athletes in the Sabratha amphitheatre, the realization of a highly symbolic educational photograph and a making of film
- the final photograph and film go back to the school/partner organizations as educational tool for Olympic & sports education
- the final photograph goes back to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sabratha to remind visitors and locals of the importance of cultural heritage (still there at the entrance of the site)
- the project is displayed for the first time in 2012 with a remarkable media response at the Olympic Games London in large scale (Africa Village, Hide Park London) and is made visible to thousands of visitors throughout the Olympic Games. Later, the same year the project is presented at the 8th World Conference on Sports, Education & Culture by the IOC & UNESCO in Amsterdam.
- the project, its impacts and targets are analyzed in an 80 pages memo for Olympic Education
- further editions of this project shall be supported by the Olympic Solidarity Program for Youth
The LET THE CHILDREN PLAY Project, 2014- ongoing
- realization in 2014 in cooperation with UNHCR – involving over 400 children and their supporting organizations SAVE THE CHILDREN and IRD at the Zaatari Refugee Camp, the largest Syrian refugee camp in the world, based in Jordan – over a 2 weeks period.
- international artists supported the participating children and teenagers to grow hope in their future and express their dreams by utilizing creative means and playful workshops.
- The target behind this initiative is the creation of a visual message about needs but also opportunities… – a common project of concerned youth & children and committed artists and filmmakers to go in line with a positive vision about refugee settlements and their possible better future…
- the results are: a set of iconographic photographs, an animation video-clip, a making of film and a documentary film format.
- the related animation video is provided to UNHCR as official spot at the International Film Festival of Cannes 2014.
- the related animation video is selected finalist at the International Photography Awards in New York, the world largest independent recognition for photography.
- the project is displayed for the first time in 2014 with significant media response at the European Forum Alpbach Austria, the Kunstforum Bank Austria Vienna, Le Brass in Brussels and the Palais of Nations, United Nations Geneva.
- the Refugee children Cut-Outs Project is born, real size cut-outs of refugee children go on tour and make their impressive and emotional appearance on Kilian Kleinschmidt public speeches (former UNHCR head of Zaatari Refugee Camp) and other UNHCR representatives (UNHCR is provided with a set of cut-out refugee children which serve as emotional tools for awareness).
CREATIVE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT Initiative, 2014- on going
- first kick-off of an Austria wide school competition in cooperation with Austria’s largest recycling entity ARA.
- creative initiatives by students on how to protect and promote environmental causes can be submitted as collective class projects.
- the winning project is made in real via an intense two weeks creative workshop with a team of professional international artists.
- the documentation of this creative process is used as educational tool itself and as a mean to initiate the discussion within social-media platforms
ART & SOCIETY / The INEQUALITY Project, 2014/15
- the initiative follows the invitation by the students of graphic design & photography at the University of Art in Linz (Austria) for a one year period workshop.
- the aim of the workshops is how to motivate and stimulate young art students to use their creative skills and self-reflections to provoke debate on social relevant topics of concern.
- in cooperation with the European Forum Alpbach and supported by CANON Austria the visual results of this workshop period (involving over 30 students) were displayed on large scale representing the main exhibition during the Forum 2015.
- sustainable approach to embed the ART & SOCIETY PHOTO AWARD within the yearly European Forum Alpbach involving European Art Universities on a long-term (developed in co-operation with the Forum’s Art department).
THE RIGHT TO BE A CHILD Initiative, since 2015
- shaping a creative initiative for ubuntu – the cultural initiative of SOS Children Villages.
- involving 500 local children and integrating a group of unaccompanied minor refugees (Biwak Hall) .
- performed in Hall (Tyrol) and supported by a local school, a local kindergarden and the City of Hall (both authorities and community)
- international artists and educationalists run creative & theatrical workshops
- the targets of the workshops are a sustainable educational approach of the Children Rights Declaration and a general rapprochement to refugees, in particular to refugee children –under the custody of SOS Children Villages.
- the result is a colourful village of a Children Rights installation on the city’s main historic square.
- the visual documentation of the entire process is embedded in a 3 month exhibition targeting mainly schools and youth organizations in the Museum Münze in Hall.
- Schools in the Tyrolean region are provided with an educational poster-tool of the initiative.
- One of the largest German publishers for youth & children books uses all visual outcome of this initiative for illustrating a large public educational book entitled “Children, this are your Rights”
- SOS Children Villages and Hermann-Gmeiner Stiftung International intend to continue the initiative in Germany in 2016
- Social-media and playful approaches for internet use within theme and initiative are under development
The achievement and success of these projects/initiatives offer a wide range of sustainable developments, they have one goal: to be acknowledged with pride by the participating children/schools/organizations and to represent a major step in building the path for a lasting legacy and an innovative form of sustainable education.
International Color Awards / USA / Los Angeles
Nominee Awards for LET THE CHILDREN PLAY AT ZAATARI REFUGEE CAMP and for
THE CHILDREN’S PLAY BELGIUM
IPA/ US New York /global International Photo Award 3rd place winner moving images
LET THE CHILDREN OF SYRIA GROW HOPE
IPA/ US New York /global International Photo Award IPA Honorable Mention category children
CHILDREN’S PLAY BRUSSELS
IPA/ US New York /global International Photo Award IPA Honorable Mention
deeper perspective category
LET THE CHILDREN PLAY AT ZAATARI REFUGEE CAMP
Annual Czech Photo Awards 2nd Prize in Motions
International Master Cup Color Photography / US / global, nomination
Nomination Prix Pictet, Switzerland / global
International Photo Award IPA Honorable Mention Category Culture
International Photo Award IPA Honorable Mention Category Sports
Photography Color Masters Cup / US / global, short listed
St. Leopold Peace Award / Austria / EU, nomination
Grand Award Winner Annual Photo Awards Czech Republic
World Sony Photo Awards, nomination
International Canadian Digital Photo Award, honorable mention
MAIN PAST PARTNERSHIPS
- SOS Children’s Village
- PLAN International
- Delta Cultura
- Altstoff Recycling Austria ARA
- European Forum Alpbach Austria
- Olympic Solidarity / IOC
- City of Brussels