Playing is not, and never was, a game, baby. What with frisking dollies, running around, jumping about randomly, and the ultimate challenge: finding recreation in any and every object you can lay your hands on. For the first time in Africa, the exhibition targeted at the young ones and that has very prominent features of play is on display at the National Gallery.
The Astrid Lindgren Lives On exhibition organised by the Swedish Institute, the Embassy of Sweden and the Botswana National Museum, highlights the life and works of Sweden’s famous and influential author of children’s literature; everyone who deals with children is encouraged to visit.
In 2003, the Swedish Institute introduced a project in Sweden that was meant to highlight Swedish children’s culture and children’s rights issues. Astrid Lindgren, who would have turned 100 this year had she been alive, was considered a good starting point as her literature gave child characters, most popular being Pippi Longstockings, truth and life.
The author’s books are approved in Sweden pre-school curriculum, which encourages the right to play, adventure and fantasy. A large-scale presentation titled “Play! ÔÇô a serious exhibition”, which though intended to advocate for the children’s right to play also highlighted the violation of other children’s rights.
The project was officially launched in Moscow in 2004 and has toured Europe and Botswana is the first African country to host the children’s rights inclined exhibition. Colourful cushions are strewn on the floor for children to sit on while they read Lindgren’s books and play with puzzles. The exhibition closes on the 19th of January next year.