The different skin I’m in

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by Alan Jacques

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Supporters and participants at the 'Show Racism the Red Card' exhibition in the Hunt Museum
Supporters and participants at the ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ exhibition in the Hunt Museum

FIFTH and Sixth class pupils at Caherline National School imagined themselves living in a different skin to win first prize in the Primary School Award of the national ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ competition at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

The talented young children then exhibited their award-winning work at the Hunt Museum. The exhibition, curated by Fiona Scally, was developed in partnership with Caherline NS and Show Racism the Red Card.
The end result of weeks of hard work by the students and their teachers consisted of 26 self-portraits where students re-imagined themselves as a different nationality.

Students researched and chose different nationalities to represent, transforming their appearance to that of a person living in the country they learned about. One of the pupils painted their portrait as a Geisha Girl. They also submitted a video produced to incorporate the self-portraits and a performance piece, with a specially composed song to accompany the performance. The exhibition that went on display at the Hunt showcased all these elements of the children’s work.

“Winning a National Competition such as ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ was a wonderful achievement for the school. It is an award the school is extremely proud of, given the plight that racism is not only in school but also in society,” principal Michael McCarthy explained.

“The children realised that they could make a difference in promoting equality and fairness by means of their video, which was a creative mix of art, song and performance. As a school they are thrilled with the knowledge that their video will help promote respect for all beliefs and all backgrounds. The video sends out a strong message that there is only one race — The Human Race.”

Show Racism the Red Card is an anti-racism charity that aims to harness the influence of high profile sportspeople to combat racism. The organisation works to produce anti-racism educational resources, and to educate young people through workshops, summer camps and coaching activities.