Old Words: Playful Adventures

François Matarasso contrasts the childhoods of today’s children with his own. He looks at what children gain from the arts and the ways in which politicians have contrived to limit this access and the amount of stimulation it can provide. He ends with a plea for increased involvement, but on children’s own terms.


Episode 009     July 1, 2022
Contributors    François Matarasso    

In this episode François Matarasso asks “Why is our childhood not a good guide to our children’s?” He notes that, growing up in the 1960s, he had only ”two television channels, offering just an hour or two of
children’s programmes a day, our window on the world was small and closely controlled. And the future seemed equally straightforward: there were jobs and professions to choose from and you could picture yourself living a life much like that of your parents, only better”.

He argues that for the children of the 2020s this picture no longer holds. He then looks at what children gain from the arts and the ways in which politicians have contrived to limit this access and the amount of stimulation it can provide. He ends with a plea for increased involvement, but on children’s own terms.