Conversation Overseas

Working on a project called, CONVERSATION OVERSEAS, Dr Jules Findley was Artist in Residence at Digital Artist Residency DAR with Canadian artist, Linda Duvall. Over the course of the month, through a series of letters overseas, they discussed Maternal LOSS, the unresolved grief of distraught mothers who had their children taken away in the Child Migration Programme that affected over 130,000 children in the UK, through their creative on-line conversations between England, Canada and Singapore.

A bit about the Child Migration Programme: The forced Child Migration Programme was about thousands of young children from poor families were sent alone, without choice to the ‘colonies’, mostly Commonwealth countries, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania and Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), leaving in ships from Liverpool, Glasgow, Plymouth and London from Tilsbury and Gravesend. The project started in 1859 and ended in 1970’s, where over 130,000 child migrants were sent overseas form the UK on a project endorsed by the upper classes – thinking they were doing good for the poor, with various charities involved – one in the name of the Prince of Wales, which raised money to buy land for farms in Australia, New Zealand and Canada for the children to work there. It was once thought to be convenient, promised as life enhancing for the children to be shipped out, with the colonies gaining what was termed as healthy ‘white stock’. Often siblings were split up from siblings and frequently sent to different countries, away from their mothers and families. The children were lied to about their mothers as often they were told their mothers didn’t want them or had died, however their mothers were still alive. Mothers were not given details of where their children had been sent. Some children went to homes where the children were genuinely looked after, but others were sent to farms where they were cruelly abused on all levels and exploited for their work on the farms.

More work and the conversation is recorded here: