For the third year running, Mishcon de Reya will support Southbank Centre's WHY? (What's Happening for the Young) Festival, which explores the rights of children and young people, taking place 19 -23 October. For those five days, Southbank Centre’s 21-acre site will host debates, workshops, performances and free participatory events. At this year's festival: actor Olivia Colman, vlogger Grace Victory, punk poet Brigitte Aphrodite and Complicite theatre company.
Inspired by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the festival is an opportunity for policy makers, social workers, families, children of all ages and their schools to immerse themselves in fundamental questions about childhood today. Alongside artists, thinkers and social activists, WHY? will explore the right to freedom of expression, play, care, safety and access to the arts and culture. The festival programme is divided into three parts: a weekend of workshops, performances and talks for families; a forum for professionals; and two days for schools to bring students to the festival. You can view the festival programme here.
Tamsin Ace, Head of Festival Programme, Southbank Centre, said: “The rights of children are often overlooked in our society and we at Southbank Centre believe this needs to change. At WHY? festival we seek to provide an open platform for urgent conversations about how the needs and ideas of children and young people can be properly included in the world, through creativity, talks, workshops and performances. With many events programmed or led by young people, the festival provides an empowering platform for children and young people to recognise their rights and get their voices heard.”
Barbara Reeves, Partner in Mishcon de Reya's Family Practice, added: “Inclusive and creative, the WHY? festival provides a forum in which young people and adults are encouraged to speak up and share their views, facilitating much needed debate around topical issues. This is an opportunity to really listen to children and for them to express themselves – something we feel is very important. At Mishcon de Reya we have long since sought to promote children’s rights. As a nation, we rarely consult children on issues that impact their lives, and our objective is to put their wishes, needs and wellbeing at the forefront during parental disputes and separation. We believe it’s necessary to lead a national debate on this issue.”