Imagine. Many of us know that this simple word is also the title of a memorable melody with wonderful lyrics. A message of hope and of imagining the best. However, we can also imagine the worst. It may be difficult, even painful, but it is actually a good thing if it helps us prevent it.
Here is an exercice in thinking a number that stretches the imagination. Think of the number of children in the world. Around 2.2 billions according to UNICEF. Let’s say that than 10% have access to paper and crayons, so say 200 millions. Then say that each of them makes an average of 50 drawings per year, but we are only to save 10 for posterity. Let’s do it for 10 years and we get 100 drawings per child, so 20 billions drawings that could be saved in a 10 year period. Multiply this by at least 10, because public education has been progressively implemented in the Western world and beyond for about 150 years now. We get without much difficulty 200 billions drawings. But of those, how many were salvaged? How many disappear into oblivion everyday? We dare anyone to know the answer. Too few is our answer and we are here to change this situation. At the same time, we hope that the 2 billions children, that were left out of the equation, will have more opportunities than their predecessors, so they remind future generations what it was like to be a child in the 21st Century.
We begin the new year with an appeal to all young and young at heart people. What are the oldest images you can contribute to our collection? Who will contribute the first and newest images of this new decade? Below and side by side, are images spanning more than seventy years. To the left is one of the oldest in our collection. It is a collage from the early 1940s, made by a young Canadian girl, in her first grade class. Next to it, is a drawing by a girl of the same age, in the early 2010s. We believe it is important to demonstrate the historical significance of these objects. We believe this can be done only by collecting and preserving as many as we can save. Too many have disappeared already.
As we get ready for a new decade, publications present their highlights of the 2010s. We look back at a most revealing and touching artistic perspective on the lives of children around the world. James Mollison‘s images from his book Where they sleep, remind us that there is still much to uncover and discuss about children’s place in our world. Do all children draw? Some authors seem to think so, but probably not all of them do. Do all children play? One can only hope so, but maybe not all of them do. One thing is sure, all children dream. Let’s hope we all do.
Give us one more reason to celebrate this season, by making both a donation and a contribution to the Collection. Snow or not, let’s keep the memories merry and safe. Like Mathieu did some 20 years ago already.
Did you know that Santa likes to receive letters all year round? Canada Post handles all his mail. At CDIC-CIDE, we have that in common with the Old Man. We like to receive mail and Canada Post handles it for us too. The differences are that we do not travel as fast, and stay up all night. The one thing we do for real, is to preserve your drawings and your letters forever: Use our Contribution Form, email and or mail us.
Whether you are a parent, a grand-parent, a teacher, a lawyer or all of the above, remember above all to mind children’s rights and the upcoming Universal Children’s Day on November 20th. Visit the UN site and read the 1959 declaration and the 1989 convention. There is more for the savvy legal professional, Baker McKenzie will be hosting yet another annual summit on the issue this December 3rd. This time in California and you will never guess in whose headquarters.
CDIC-CIDE is a young organization and we do not have yet a permanent physical exhibition space. For the time being, we retained the services of a fantastic record management company as our repository. Command Records Management is located in London Ontario. It offers state of the art services and facilities, with respect to international ARMA and PRISM standards. Rest assure that your contributions of precious artefacts are safe with us and taken care of professionally and respectfully.
We are working towards making our collection searchable online. Tell us what interest you the most in children’s drawings and which criteria you would use in our search tool. Tell us whether you would select primarily country of origin, date, age, subject portrayed, theme or other criteria. If you use often a search tool that you prefer to others, please share your preference with us. We are currently considering Access to Memory (AtoM) open source software by Artefactual Systems.
We share this fun-to-read article by Mary Townsend, published in The Atlantic: Throw Your Children’s Art Away. We certainly feel for families facing the dilemma. However, we are an archives and we are all about conservation. No longer feel torn apart between keep or toss… we are the alternative, contribute to the collection.