In The Water Drop Project, the kids are in charge.

Vanessa Ellingham
Article
Nordic children’s literature has inspired generations of children with independent, self-sufficient characters like Pippi Longstocking, Moomin and Lille My, who would surely each put a whole new spin on the insides of our museums if they were left in charge.

Children tend to be set aside as passive recipients of (cultural) public programming. As a response to this The Water Drop aims to empower children to see themselves as active participants in cultural life and offers them the chance to do exactly that: to have their say on the museums exhibitions and what stories they tell about the world around us. 

The cornerstone of this experience will be the Young Curators panel, led by curator Chus Martinez, which will see children meet across borders. The 12 children, selected from across the Nordic region, will get a rare peek into the inner workings of their favourite museums and collaborate on upcoming exhibitions on beloved authors like Tove Jansson, H.C. Andersen and Astrid Lindgren. The programme won’t just be for children, but by children.

With the support of cultural educators from The Moomin Museum, H.C. Andersen Museum,  Ilon’s Wonderland and the Cultural Houses in Kópavogur, the Young Curators will participate in online meetings, workshops and visits to each other’s countries to help shape The Water Drop project. This will culminate with the final travelling exhibition. 

With its Young Curators panel, The Water Drop project aims to set the global standard for children’s involvement and co-creation in cultural activities. And what better time to make this a reality than in a series of exhibitions celebrating our region’s most loved children’s stories. 

Imagine an exhibition where Pippi Longstocking has had a say. What will you do to make the museum feel like yours?

Vanessa Ellingham is a writer and editor, from New Zealand. She founded NANSEN, a magazine about migrants of all kinds.