Exhibition- ‘It’s a Hard World For Little Things.’

C.A.Halpin, Bhopal

9th January- 17th July, FREE entry. V&A Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green, London.

 ‘It’s a Hard World For Little Things: Children Carrying Heavy Objects’ is a series of six large-scale drawings that depict children and the burdens that they carry.

These enormous graphite drawings by C A Halpin show children carrying physical, societal and political loads such as: water; a blackboard; each other; grief and love, or loneliness. The images explore children’s absolute will to survive in a sometimes-hostile adult world and reflects the plight of children on a global and domestic scale; the show features this drawing of a young girl at the Oriya Bustee school, in Bhopal, which receives support from the Bhopal Medical Appeal.

Her name is Himandri and she was six years old when the picture was taken. Oriya Basti lies a little over a kilometer from the abandoned Union Carbide factory in an area where the ground water is contaminated by the toxic waste abandoned at the factory.

The families in Oriya originate from Orissa (now ‘Odisha’) and still use a dialect from that area. At the school they learn Hindi, which is spoken in Madhya Pradesh, along with a little English

This picture was taken in the class room close to the black board. Students chose the word “Yellow” in order to illustrate the letter “Y”. Yellow can be the colour of the third chakra, yellow can symbolize self-esteem, self-confidence, power, and capacity to attain one’s goal.


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We believe Dow must finally accept responsibility for Bhopal. Until then, The Bhopal Medical Appeal funds two award-winning clinics in the city. Both offer free, first-class care to victims of the gas disaster or the ongoing water contamination. The survivors have nowhere else left to turn – please help if you can.