Part of The Reflections On An Age Of Anxiety Series. War Child is a Digital Collage that cries out at the thought of a simple political or tactical miscalculation leading to the spread of war. Tensions mount at global flashpoints when the worlds most powerful militaries engage in posturing behaviour with one another. Flashpoints occour where countries spheres of influence overlap and a struggle for dominance ensues. For instance the naval collisions and near misses between China and the USA in the disputed islands of the South China Sea, Russian military aircraft probing British airspace, Mounting tensions in the Middle East over attacks on Oil Tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, the recent downing of a US drone nearly resulting in American military action against Iran, these all carry a real risk of large nations blindly blundering towards disaster.
When A Child Is Faced With An Impossible Task is a Digtal Collage that struggles to manage in the world of the adult. Sometimes in life children can end up being raised into inappropriate positions of adult responsibility. In the terms of Family Systems Theory we can say that the child has been subsumed into their family’s parental/spousal subsystem (In other words they have been misplaced into the role of a parent/spouse). Sometimes a child may even reverse roles entirely with their own parent (s) in order to act as a caregiver. This process is known as emotional parentification, and the strain of it can create deep feelings of confusion, sadness, lostness, powerlessness and isolation as the child struggles to handle emotional roles and tasks for which they are simply unequipped.
An almost inevitable result of this process is the loss of their childhood, as it is laid aside to make room for the excessive adult responsibility that they are now faced with. This gargantuan task of negotiating the adult world without the benefit of sufficient maturity or experience may cause the child to manage by adopting ridged roles of excessive care giving and an unrealistic sense of over-responsibility for the people and situations that surround them. A child can therefore carry an internal attitude that they must always put the needs of others before their own, and that they are solely responsible for negative outcomes in life. This exhausting and self-sacrificing attitude may then follow them into later life, ironically stunting their own growth to maturity in adulthood. Heavy stuff, so don’t forget to look after yourself and to get out and play.