When a building’s foundation is strengthened, there is a higher likelihood of it withstanding external stresses and shocks. A child's fate is tied to family circumstances in which he or she is born into, where safety, stimulation for growth and opportunities are not a given.
Many factors that influence human development are at play, with no silver bullet in sight. Problems in later life can be traced to negative experiences in childhood and confronting adversity in the early years is a way to minimize risk.
Immersing these children in nurturing communities is a way to counter the toxic stress they face and builds them future-ready armours of resilience, relationships and reflection – alongside traditional 3Rs of reading, writing and arithmetics. The old beast of inequality must be challenged with a whole-of-society approach and purposeful creativity, for no young one should be left behind.
About the Works
Five children – Alfred Goh, Brandvan Yang, MaryAngelly Jayabahan, Nur Shahanis Binte Johar and Raden Rauf Bin Radin Padli – have spent nine months on a project to mark the closure of their journey with Superhero Me.
We strived to go beyond a prescriptive arts engagement approach to tease out perspective, develop mastery of an artform and grow perseverance through artmaking. With hindsight, COVID-19, which abruptly halted our work, was a blessing in disguise as these two flat units in Block 55 became a harbour that sheltered the children through the rough roads of PSLE prep and bought us time for a long goodbye.
The search for an intimate expression of resilience led to honest conversations on tension between ideas and realities of success, social class, body confidence, boredom and family upbringing. It’s been said that strong children are easier to build than repairing broken men. Growing up with them – and their families – over the last six years has been a privilege. Homerun marks the end of our shared time as a community with saudade, a statement of shared kinship and belief, that somehow, the kids will be alright.