May 2016

When children are allowed to play freely and deeply and without adult intervention, they also engage an inherent evolved mechanism for learning. Whilst play is something joyful and rewarding in its own right, it is also a child’s primary means for expressing themselves and forming relationships with and understanding of the world around them.

This simple concept resonates deeply with the aspirations of The Rumi Foundation and we are especially pleased to be able to support 2015 Turner Prize winners, Assemble, to produce the video/audio installation The Voice of Children for the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale in 2016.

The installation points a lens towards children and the built environment, and is the first public presentation of this ongoing project.

Conducted through live work, conversation and research, The Voice of Children celebrates children’s capacity to play and, in particular, the active, creative and highly flexible relationships children develop with their environment. The film comprises footage from a range of child-lead spaces around the world, alongside an audio-track featuring interviews with people who work on the ground with children, supporting and enabling and nurturing their play.

The installation manifests in fascinating ways ideas that deeply question what play means, and why it matters for the future of our children and cities.

Believing in the power of children, and that they truly have the power to shape and change our world, is a fundamental strand of The Rumi Foundation’s remit; and The Voice Of Children in particular exemplifies our own passion for projects that help enhance understanding of the opportunities available to nurture the next generation in ways likely to be beneficial to society as a whole.