The following excerpt is from the article by Taia Goguen-Garner. The full article, “Grad Research: Incorporating Youth Perspectives in Monuments“, can be found online.
Rebecca Friend, a Master’s student in Public History is researching how children and childhood have been represented in Canadian commemorations like monuments and memorials.Along with this research, Friend is also designing a participatory project with a group of children at an elementary school in Montreal where they will be asked to design their own monuments to Canadian childhood.
Friend’s interest in this research piqued when working on co-curating an exhibition through Carleton’s Curatorial Studies program. The exhibition is called Morsels of Memory: A Taste of Ottawa’s Food History.
“I knew from this experience that working on exhibitions and in the field of public history more broadly was a path that interested me,” shared Friend. “However, I found that children and youth were largely excluded from these projects, both as a target audience and as co-producers on the projects. My interests therefore turned to seeing how I could meaningfully include children and youth in my public history practice and engage their input on topics that pertain to their daily lives.”
Friend is creating a working list of Canadian monuments and memorials featuring representations of and connections to young Canadians. She is looking at covering both thematic and geographic variety in order to provide a survey-style examination.