Belong is a creative project that brings Danish, international and refugee children together through a collaborative, art and making experience to explore their ideas of identity and belonging.
Once upon a time there was a bed. You might expect the bed to be in a bedroom, but it was not. The bed was comfortable. The bed was safe. The bed was hyggelig.
On the bed was a big, blank, square sheet, with a red thread hanging from it. A child arrived at the bed having followed the thread from Lithuania. Soon after, a child from America came, followed by children from Denmark, Korea, Mexico, Syria and Africa. In fact, children from all four corners of the world followed the red thread to this bed.
After travelling so far they were tired, so they climbed into bed to tell each other stories about where they had come from and where they were going to. As they told these stories their words and dreams became images across the cover and soon it was filled with colour.
Night fell and it began to get colder. Some of the children grew scared and they needed a roof over their heads. So they worked together to create a shelter using the bed sheet of stories and the red threads and they were proud of what they had created.
Surrounded by their stories, dreams and new-found friends their red threads wove together to create a strong bond and the children felt like they could BELONG.
Belong started with a bed; a safe, transitional space to explore from. The bed had a strong frame, built with care, compassion and creativity to support the children's dreams. The bed was a little different each time. Purposely unmade, it was built with the community to fit well with the space it was in. The bed knew it might be seen by others at the end, but did not know how it would look, or what story it would tell, sure only that this would spring from the children and be their ideas and creation.
From February to September 2017, Culture Shift worked in partnership with children, teachers and parents in four communities in the triangle region, investigating different ways of working in response to local requirements. Over a series of workshops, developed with the groups, the children made individual and collaborative artworks, gained new skills and new friends and exhibited their work at community events.
To find out more about the children and adults who jumped onto the bed with us and what we created and learned together you can read some testimonials about their experience and the final report.
Get an insight into the processes involved through the project blog, written by Ambra Molinari, visual anthropologist.
Belong was kindly supported by: