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Free the Children Installation - prototype

Chilout created an installation in Sydney to allow a particpant to enter, collect a doll and take it out of detention.

They are encouraging communities to make their own installations and we have started expanding our ideas.

New variation on Chilout installation - Free the Children, with old teddy standing in for a baby.

A couple of dolls would be looking out and the rest huddled together at the back. 

The teddy (doll) can be taken out of the cot, and placed in a colourful area with flowers and cushions etc and the rescuing child would play with it and the parent would take the card attached and send the letter to the Minister (see the letter below cot photos).

Th installation uses a portable  cot which folds up into a small suitcase size container. The cot will sit inside a gazebo with the area to one side of the cot showing posters and the other side of the gazebo space would be decorated with colour and joy.

The name of the folding cot is particularly relevant

First prototype attempt

We would like the installation to be easily transportable, so we have started with a gazebo as a frame, the restricting fence is dog wire and it has an entrance and an exit.

The following are photographs of our first attempt with comments.

The gazebo is probably too large and high. The cover for this gazebo does not come off, so if the level is lower you cannot see anything inside. For this installation the fence is supported by star pickets - not a good idea if it is indoors.

Dog wire is used to make the fence.

We did not have any dolls, so a 50 year old teddy bear had to stand in. He is looking out waiting for someone to rescue him. The number reminds you that the teddy is being referred to by number and dehumanised.

Teddy looking out but with poster above reminding visitors that 1023 children are being held in detention

We went to the  Bellingen FREE MARKET  last Sunday in the hope of finding some dolls - no luck.

However in explaining our project to the organiser there (a mother with young children), it became apparent that there might be concern at upsetting the children if they understood the full implications. Of course the intention is to make the parent disturbed at the thought of what is happening to children in detention.

Perhaps the installation should be decorated to make it less frightening as well as having posters showing that detention is frightening.

Please email if you have any ideas or structures that would help and dolls.

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