Children Draw Themselves - Self-Portraits from All Over the World in Times of Covid-19

How do children see themselves in Covid-19 times? What do they deal with? What fears and dreams do they have? How has the state of emergency changed the lives of children and young people?

In spring 2020, the International Youth Library has invited children from all over the world to portray themselves during this time. The response was overwhelming: children and young people from a total of 42 countries, from all continents, sent in their self-portraits. In total, well over 800 pictures were received, including from France, Italy, Armenia, Ukraine, Iran, Japan, Sri Lanka, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, the USA and many more. Children between the ages of 3 and 18 show their faces: some grey and frightened, others colorful and lively, sometimes with a breathing mask, sometimes without - mostly with big, alert eyes.

The call as well as the idea to create an exhibition from the pictures sent in was inspired by Jella Lepman, the founder of the International Youth Library, who already in 1952 collected more than 300 self-portraits of children from thirty countries and showed them in the exhibition "Ich selbst - myself - moi même".

Having already made the portraits available in an online exhibition, the International Youth Library has now compiled a selection of the impressive self-portraits in 'Children draw themselves' - supplemented by photos of the children who created them. The exhibition is available for travelling from 2021 onwards.

Content of the exhibition:
About 60 original self-portraits from children and young people from all over the world on colorful cardboards tagged with captions informing about name, age and country of each participant including a photo; poster with introduction text; exhibition poster

The self-portraits were digitalized and are also available as poster exhibition (print-outs).

Introduction text and captions available in German and English, further languages upon request

Exhibition in the International Youth Library