Anthropology for Kids is a series of books, workshops and conversations each full of pictures and stories about what it means to be a human.

WHAT ARE WE DOING

The promise of anthropology is one of opening up our sense of human possibility. In a thousand ways we are taught to lower our expectation, to accept that the world we live in is the only possible world. But thousands of other ways of organizing homes, cities, schools, societies, economies, cosmologies, have and could exist. The series is designed – in the spirit of Borges, Eco or Lem – to play with possibility, to overcome the suspicion, subtly inculcated in every day, that life is necessarily limited, miserable, and boring.

This series is spinning the anthropological history of every continent, helping us to discover both the points of diversity and unity in how people have lived around the globe and throughout the times.

Pointing on examples coming from the wide spectrum of different cultures it researches the existential and universal question of what it means to be human – as a kid and as an adult – in order to discover the huge diversity of how differently people live around the globe and throughout the times.

WHO WE ARE

We are a growing network of experienced anthropologists, cultural theorists, curators, artists and other practitioners, as well as partnering institutions and funders.

WHERE IT ALL BEGINS

Anthropology For Kids was invented to share the knowledge and opinions between experts and non-experts about the diversity of human life in the past, today, and tomorrow. The project provides (self-)educational materials, participatory frameworks and non-hierarchical production of knowledge and shared understanding that is designed to be accessible to people – children, their parents, and anybody else – from all backgrounds. The content production allows for collective authorship, varying styles of expression, and an open social process; it involves artists, intellectuals and amateurs, writers and researchers, teachers and children as well as a broad public community contributing to the web project. Initially started in 2008 by Nika Dubrovsky, Berlin, Anthropology For Kids was inspired by democratic Soviet children literature. This specific genre was invented in the 1920s as a means to communicate with the general population in a language that everybody could share.

HOW WE DO IT

It is a special format of participatory literature that combines social and cultural studies, contemporary art and educational programs to address important topics. Some of the topics and books we developed in cooperation with art institutions and / or public collections, others are created through exhibition or educational projects, and some art institutions, libraries and school networks use the material independently for workshops and exhibitions.

WHAT IS INSIDE THE BOOK?

As alternative textbooks in the form of doodle books, we use both scientific texts and the works of modern artists, author’s drawings, and children’s drawings and writings. Books always have a lot of free space for comments, writings, and drawings.  While working on our book, each reader/author will create the book of its own with its own drawings and texts. 

OUR TOPICS

We plan to work with the following authors, but this is only the beginning!—
Legendary composer and musician
Brian Eno “What is Art?”


The inventor of the term “informal economy” economic anthropologist Keith Hart
“What is Nation”.


Archaeologist Rosemary Joyce
to contribute a book on “Wealth”.


Anthropologist David Graeber
on “What is Money?”


Boris Groys philosopher and writer for
the book “What is Museum?”


Archaeologist David Wengrow
to collaborate on the book “What is Civilization?”

WHO IS OUR AUDIENCE?

Our project is suitable for the grandmothers and kids, for the students and middle class people, for the workers and activists. As short reads, they would be ideal to leave around in public places. 

EVENTS!

We have done exhibitions of huge tablecloths, curtains or photos combined the works of famous artists, children and their parents, migrants and their teachers. We are working on audio installations that contains stories that were told to us by immigrants. We keep adding new formats because it is fun! Please, share with us your ideas!

A4Kids Labs

Our books and tablecloths can be downloaded from this website.
You can hold classes in the library, school, at home or in the gallery.
Here are tips on how to conduct classes.
But you can come up with your own versions. The main thing, do not forget to share with us your thoughts and photos of your exhibition/works.

To read more about A4Kids Labs, go here.

Our partners

Anthropology For Kids is a growing network of partners and contributors including:
Agora Media Group (Warschau, PL)
Alternativa Foundation (Danzig, PL)
Die Gesellschaft der Neuen Auftraggeber (Berlin, DE)
EDEC (European committee for free and democratic education)
Einstein Forum (Potsdam, DE)
Equal Education Network (Johannesburg, SA)
Erste Bank Foundation (Wien, AU)
Europäische Janusz Korczak Akademie e. V. (München/Berlin, DE)
Fondation de France (Paris, FR)
Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin, D)
Nelson Mandela School (Berlin, DE)
Neue Pinakothek (München, DE)
Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (Potsdam, DE)
The Peace Education Institute – Rauhankasvatus-Instituutti (Helsinki, FIN)
Royal Academy of Art (London, UK)
Samokat publishing house (Moskau, RU)
Seven Stories Press (New York, USA)
Street Art Museum Amsterdam (Amsterdam, NLD)
WHW Curator’s collective (Zagreb, KRO/Berlin, DE)
Kryk festival (Krasnoyarsk, Russia)
ShowRoom gallery (London, UK)

New Patrons

Contact

Nika Dubrovsky