475 000 €
THE CHILDREN’S LIBRARY is a participatory action research project that focus on racializing structures and practices within children’s culture in Finland and aim to create spaces for counter-narratives through different practices in and outside the library.
THE CHILDREN’S LIBRARY project is a participatory action research project funded by the KONE foundation lodged in Gender Studies at Åbo Akademi University. It is comprised of researchers from gender studies, literature, art and art curating. The research focuses on racializing structures and practices within children’s culture in Finland and aims to create spaces for counter-narratives through different practices in and outside the library. This project started from the grassroots as a group of parents came together with the urge to discuss racism directed at their children in the public sphere in Finland. The importance of these experiences and the knowledge that this group had seemed so important that it needed to be shared in some form. What also came up in the discussions was that there was a clear need for “alternative” children’s storybooks. What we found in the memories were places of “exit points” from racist narratives and various ways of navigating racist discourses in empowering ways. Framework: One could argue that it is the method memory work that navigated us into the framework of decoloniality. The memory work made us revisit lived experiences of coloniality and racialized structures, and sharing and analysing these experiences collectively, initially showed us the difference in meaning created by the choice of context we gave the experiences. Several discourses offer themselves as possible contextualiztions for the experiences shared in the group and what you choose and why its especially important talking about children. The work we started in the group, choosing and thinking how we want to bring the stories into the public sphere pointed us towards the importance of a decolonial framework of thinking. The emphasis on the collective, rather than individual thinking is something we draw both from the feminist movements, but also from decolonial struggles. Main aim: *The main aim is to strive to create emancipatory knowledge and alternative narratives. In emancipatory knowledge art, theory and politics immerge into one opening up spaces where the new is enabled Main objective: *The objective of the project is to use artistic research methods to explore racialized experiences (of childhood) in the Finnish context. This means experiences of racism, but more importantly positive memories of resistance and everyday life. Research methods: The project uses artistic methods such as artistic curatorial methodologies; creative writing, memory work, and photography to explore experiences and make visible a certain experience that has been silenced. The memory work group, as well as the youth group who work with different artistic expressions are essential in the production of new practices, new narratives, new knowledges, new theory, new politics.