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Family: A Space and Stoke Newington Secondary School Exhibition

02 May-23 May 2013

Yara El Sherbini, Mother & Child

Exhibition in the Education Space at Rivington Place from 2-23 May 2013.

Working with A Space and Stoke Newington Secondary School, Iniva explores the term ‘Family’ as part of our extended Keywords exhibition and related events programme.

Over time, Western notions of what constitutes ‘family’ have consciously or unconsciously privileged a stereotyped description of a permanent unit comprising mother and father living with their two or three birth children.

Government policies (often with their own agendas in mind), popular media and idealised representations of family in the wider culture as a whole have frequently promoted this model despite the inherent problems in holding onto what, for many, is unrealistic or unachievable.

Some perceive this model as limiting – or even seriously flawed – as it carries the potential for reinforcing unhelpful gender-based parental roles and for judging alternative arrangements as inferior or even ‘damaging’.

We know that families take many different forms however the idealised traditional unit still has a powerful hold on society’s psyche. To contribute to the contemporary discourse on this subject, Iniva is working in collaboration with A Space and Stoke Newington Secondary School. Workshops are being held with pupils which will contribute to an exhibition and two public events.

The theme of ‘Families’ will be explored from a number of perspectives, addressing key questions such as ‘What influences have shaped our society’s past and present notions of family? What are the different shapes families take today? How have parental roles shifted over time? How do contemporary parental roles and family models affect children and young people? What are the social, political and emotional resonances of the changing face of families in the 21st Century?

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