Children Talk About

Children Talk About is a new inter-generational documentary project that investigates the courage it takes to have conversations about caring for the old.

The desire is to create space for families to connect and reflect on their relationship with older family members. We want people to talk about their fears, miseries, and desires about aging and dying.

The first phase of this work was presented as part of Auckland Arts Festival Whānui 2018 programme. White_mess worked with thirteen participants from Ormiston Junior College aged 10-13 years, to examine the perspectives of young people.

Together we explored the idea of courage and empathy – how to share and understand the feelings of others. The learners then interviewed their grandparents and senior members of their community. After five weeks, we shared our stories and process to friends and families.

“I enjoyed the honesty and innocence of children. I liked the way it was guided by Alice. The way the children interacted with each other was also interesting to observe. This was like a ‘work in progress’, like a watching a sculptor at work. A nice and fresh approach to art with children.”
– Michelle Carpenter, audience member

The next phase of this work will focus on grandparents – sharing and learning from the old. During the process, the team will interview and work with people from the community, learning about palliative (and end of life) care, and developing frameworks to hold inter-generational and cultural difference.

Ultimately, we want to connect families and create robust conversations to activate and create real social change.

This work is currently in development. READ MORE


Director and Creator: Alice Canton
Art Therapist & Dramaturg: Lucy-Mary Mulholland
Photographer: Julie Zhu
Technical Support: Ronnie Livingston

Whānui: Children Talk About was co-produced by Auckland Art Festival 2018 and White_mess, in association with Ormiston Junior College , supported through the Auckland Diversity Project Fund.