Risk used to be part of childhood. Outdoor activities, games in the woods, running and chasing, hitting and fighting, desperate parents. Outdoor activities used to be risky, chaotic, out of control. They used to be essential, and they still are. But we seem to have forgotten that and established them in neat and controlled playgrounds around the block*. Or in the back garden. Or on the PC in the bedroom.
About the topic
Risk is essential for childhood and for a balanced growing up. And risk means freedom, escape from control; it allows danger to come in. But adults nowadays are unaccustomed to allowing that danger in children's lives. Parents have decreased the roaming distance for their children by 90% during the last 30 years*.
So how can we put back some of that danger and risk back into children’s lives?
We want to explore themes such as unsupervised time, danger zones, safety zones, falls and cuts. We want to understand the risk radar: where is the danger, what is the danger, how can we artistically play with it? Transform it in artistic concepts? Look at different relations between artists, audience and accidental passers-by.
We want to look at the changes in parenting and restrictions on freedom for children away from parents or teachers in recreation time and how this has changed over the years.
* Recent scientific research proved that present day parents allow their children a 'safety zone' which is determined by eyesight. Within that circular zone of approximately 40m, they consider their children to be 'safe'. As long as eye contact is possible, and frequently established – the research shows that parents having a drink on a terrace of a pub make eye contact with their children in the nearby playground every 20 seconds – children are allowed to play.