May-August 2016 Exhibit: “Children know what’s important”
With the exhibition «Children know what’s important», The International Museum of Children’s Art wishes to focus on the values of children and young people, and their creative interpretation of what’s important to them, both good and bad. Children and young observe their surroundings down to the smallest detail, often from unexpected angles and perspectives. The exhibition also tells us something about the world and the times we live in.
«We don’t take children and their opinions seriously here in Norway… We shower them with material objects, but underestimate their need for spiritual values», said Rafael Goldin (1920 – 1994), the museum’s founder, in 1989.
In accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), it is recognised that children are not just passive recipients who are entitled to protection and care. They also have the right and claim to be heard – and to be taken seriously when it comes to conditions and decisions that affect them, with their age, development and capabilities taken into consideration.
But how seriously do adults really take children? Perhaps it is time to focus more on the fundamental obligation adults have towards children, and what the consequences are when the rights of the international convention are violated? It might be that in our civilised society we have always underestimated the intellectual richness of children. In the western world we emphasize more and more on material goods, whereas happiness does not increase. Furthermore, we see an increase in news stories in the media about children’s rights being violated – and in some cases the children are even being held accountable for issues and actions that are not their own – but their parents’.
Through the children’s own perceptions, empathy and creativity, the Museum as an art venue wishes to contribute to reflection and debate, and remind adults of the responsibility shared by all societies – the children.
Oslo, May 2016
Header image: Wedding – Na J. Sun 8 | China