Seen and Heard is a collaboration between Deer Crossing the Art Farm and Youth Voices, an initiative of the BC Family Justice Innovation Lab. The lab was founded on the belief that if you are a child or youth experiencing separation or divorce, you have the right to be seen and heard – by your parents, your aunts and uncles, your grandparents, your friends, and ALSO by lawyers, judges, mediators, counsellors and any of the myriad professional roles that make up the Family Justice system.
The Art Farm and the Youth Voices team have been co-designing and developing a website and a mobile art installation as a platform for the stories, ideas, and visions of youth and children who have experienced separation and divorce. Our goal is to increase the opportunities for children and youth to express their voices both at home and in the family justice system.
This spring, we’ll be launching our interactive website and art installation in Downtown Vancouver.
Partnered with: Justice Innovation Lab
In 2019, The Art Farm and the Family Justice Innovation Lab co-designed a series of creative workshops to explore the lack of voice within the justice system from children of parents going through separation or divorce. We co-facilitated three separate workshops that enabled a motivated group of youth to explore their own stories within the family justice system, through various media (collage, photography, spoken word, video). These youth—approximately 10 individuals between the ages of 15 and 30—were an inspiring group.
From this first series of workshops, the work that emerged was powerful, sharp and energizing. There was a strong desire from this cohort to work towards a long-term artistic project that could attract a wider audience—both within and outside of the justice system—and bring their stories out into the public sphere.