Shoe Box Living

Shoe Box Living: Through the Eyes of a Child is a brilliant project done with the children of a primary school in Peckham, one of London's most deprived areas.

"125 children aged between 8 and 10 were given a shoe box and asked to recreate their bedroom, or a room from their home, and to write a few sentences about it. The boxes were then stacked end to end to form an imposing tower block installation, encased in perspex and mounted on wheels... Each shoe box provides a charming, thought-provoking and frequently surprising insight into vulnerable children's lives. It is as if they have each granted us permission to enter their private worlds, and to witness life from their perspective."

"This is the room I share with my two cousins and my two dogs. One's a Staff and the other is a Bulldog. The dogs protect you from danger. I've put curtains to keep you away from bugs and insects."

"I sleep on the floor. I am watching my baby brother so he doesn't fall out of bed. I cook his food. My mum is not lazy she just teaching me. I like sleeping on the floor anyway. I made the rice for us, and if my mum goes out I change my brother's nappy."

I am particularly moved by this work. In those few words, the child unintentionally reveals so much of his/her life: the weight of responsibility, the desire to protect his/her mother and brother, and the self-sacrifice necessitated by poverty.

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