YOUNG LANGUAGE BROKERING
In 2016 I was helping in the EAL (English as an additional language) department at La Retraite School,run by Wanda Jarrett , when Prof. Sarah Crafter and Humera Iqbal approached the school to participate in her Child Language Brokering research.
I was commended to create art workshops that would help the students reflect on their role of interpreters on behalf of adults in their daily life and how this impacted on their identity and wellbeing.
As a sculptor I wanted to art to be object based, therefore I looked into my own experience as an immigrant ,using Ex- votos* as inspiration to pave a way for channelling the childrens' feelings and experiences while teaching them basic carving, modelling ,building and painting techniques. In these objects they could combine; written words (to cover the language aspect),objects (related to their cultures and personalities) and images (descriptive and informative). I decided to use their hands as a symbol of the help CBT offer to others but also to include their own needs to be helped as well, becoming a symbolic portrait of themselves.
In this video you can learn more about this incredible project;
*Ex-votos are placed in a church, chapel or roads where the worshiper seeks grace or wishes to give thanks. The destinations of pilgrimages often include shrines decorated with ex-votos.They are not only intended for the helping figure, but also as a testimony to later visitors of the received help. As such they may include texts explaining a miracle attributed to the helper, or symbols such as a painted or modeled reproduction of a miraculously healed body part.