UNIVERSAL QUESTION OF WHAT IT MEANS TO BE HUMAN – AS A KID AND AS AN ADULT – IN ORDER TO DISCOVER THE HUGE DIVERSITY OF HOW DIFFERENTLY PEOPLE LIVE AROUND THE GLOBE AND THROUGHOUT THE TIMES.

WHAT ARE WE DOING

Anthropology For Kids redescribes essential aspects of human life in simple terms. Pointing on examples coming from the wide spectrum of different cultures it researches the existential and universal question of what it means to be human – as a kid and as an adult – in order to discover the huge diversity of how differently people live around the globe and throughout the times. In a language that is understandable and accessible for everyone it subverts the habitual perception of our lives and the lives of others, inspiring to reconsider our social beliefs and habits. It is a special format of participatory children’s and youth literature that combines social and cultural studies, contemporary art and educational programs to address important topics. Some of the topics and books we developed in cooperation with art institutions and / or public collections, others are created through exhibition or educational projects, and some art institutions, libraries and school networks use the material independently for workshops and exhibitions

WHO WE ARE

We are a growing network of experienced anthropologists, cultural theorists, curators, artists and other practitioners, as well as partnering institutions and funders.

WHERE IT ALL BEGINS

Anthropology For Kids was invented to share the knowledge and opinions between experts and non-experts about the diversity of human life in the past, today, and tomorrow. The project provides (self-)educational materials, participatory frameworks and non-hierarchical production of knowledge and shared understanding, that are designed to be accessible to people – children, their parents, and anybody else – from all backgrounds. The content production allows for collective authorship, varying styles of expression, and an open social process; it will include artists, intellectuals and amateurs, writers and researchers, teachers and children as well as a broad public community contributing to the web project. Initially started in 2008 by Nika Dubrovsky, Berlin, Anthropology For Kids was inspired by democratic Soviet children literature. This specific genre was invented in the 1920’s as a means to communicate with the general population in a language that everybody could share.

HOW WE DO IT

In order to translate this democratic ambition into the challenges and possibilities of our time, Anthropology For Kids today has grown to a collective endeavor reaching out to new media technologies, and finding a language suitable for horizontal global communication.

PROJECT PRINCIPLES

Each topic will be shortly described from an anthropological perspective. The variety of social concepts and practices within different contemporary or historical cultures will be demonstrated in only a few sentences that get the essence.

The first topic developed is “Family”. It explains 13 different ways of being a family:

  • MOM+DAD+ONEORMOREKIDS
  • 2DADS+KIDS
  • 1DAD+MANYMOMS

Each of these examples will be illustrated by images. The sources for these images will be historic image sources, artworks, and contributions by users of the website and participants in workshops.

OUR TOPICS

Anthropology For Kids will develop over time to cover a growing number of topics. Academics and researchers will be invited to contribute to the development of the topics with interviews, webinars and through other participation tools.

OUR BOOKS

The Anthropology For Kids book series includes the anthropological content plus imagery collected from historic sources, specific contributors, and contemporary artists. The books shall be entertaining for a broad audience and will follow the principles of “Doodle Books”, interactive notebooks that inspire children and teenagers to write and draw their own point of view. These books aim at being published in a large number and with a broad distribution network. Each double page shall contain a short description of a category, comparable to “Twitter literature”, introducing a new vocabulary easy to digest.

OTHER FORMATS

We are conducting workshops in different countries and cities. Here we describe our methodology. Besides printed matter, these books shall also be available as e-books. E-books become more and more popular
worldwide, and are easy to distribute and download with little effort and cost. They can easily be updated, integrating new content and imagery, and therefore develop over time based on contributions by the readers. E-books also allow for multi media content: audio and video files, animations, and so on. This will become a specifically interesting and demanded feature in the upcoming years.

OUR EVENTS/A4Kids Labs

The Books and its content allow for the inexpensive production of workshops, exhibitions and public lectures in multiple places on a local level, with peer-to-peer distribution and discussion. This already happened in Samara and Krasnodar (Russia), Moscow and Johannesburg, Berlin and Vinniza.

To read more about A4Kids Labs, go here.

Our partners

Anthropology For Kids is a growing network of partners and contributors including:
Agora Media Group (Warschau, PL)
Alternativa Foundation (Danzig, PL)
Die Gesellschaft der Neuen Auftraggeber (Berlin, DE)
EDEC (European committee for free and democratic education)
Einstein Forum (Potsdam, DE)
Equal Education Network (Johannesburg, SA)
Erste Bank Foundation (Wien, AU)
Europäische Janusz Korczak Akademie e. V. (München/Berlin, DE)
Fondation de France (Paris, FR)
Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin, D)
Nelson Mandela School (Berlin, DE)
Neue Pinakothek (München, DE)
Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (Potsdam, DE)
The Peace Education Institute – Rauhankasvatus-Instituutti (Helsinki, FIN)
Royal Academy of Art (London, UK)
Samokat publishing house (Moskau, RU)
Seven Stories Press (New York, USA)
Street Art Museum Amsterdam (Amsterdam, NLD)
WHW Curator’s collective (Zagreb, KRO/Berlin, DE)
Kryk festival (Krasnoyarsk, Russia)
ShowRoom gallery (London, UK)

New Patrons

Contact

Office

Nika Dubrovsky

Alexander Koch

Christine Rahn (coordination)