Makes one wonder

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.

How far back can we go?

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.

Left: Tulipe, collage by first grade girl, 1940s. Right: Maman Menga, drawing by first grade girl, 2010s. Source: CDIC-CIDE