︎ letter -writing intervention celebrating the love parents show to their children
Parents often care for their children through subtle acts of love that can be easily mistranslated. Without close communication, the relationship between parent and child can be strained.
As a child growing up, it was easy to point out the mistakes my parents made. In the media, an idealized relationship would be filled with words of affirmation, showered by christmas gifts, dad & daughter dates, and family vacations. Instead, my relationship with my parents was very individual; they expressed their care in other ways, such as cooking meals and making sure we were well fed, sacrificing their comfort for ours.
#DearParents is a campaign that celebrates the subtle nuances and quirks of every parent and child relationship. The goal of the project is to allow a space for people to reflect on their relationships with their parents and to engage in conversations to appreciate love and care in all of its forms, and to allow an open, empathetic connection between parents and their children.
Team Members: Audrey Wong, Carol Lee, Julia Poon, Janet Li, Virginia Ma,
With social media at our fingertips, we are connected more easily, and long-distances don’t matter as much anymore; it’s easy to send a text to a parent far away, yet this does not necessarily deepen the relationship between parent and child. On the other hand, in previous generations, children would communicate with their parents in handwritten letters. While they were few and far in between, handwritten letters held more significance and sincerity, and they allowed one to reflect on the words they wrote. We based our lettering off of certain traits of handwritten notes, such as natural ligatures and the more varied x-heights.
We created a letter-writing workshop for people to reflect on the question: How did your parents express love in ways you didn’t expect? Many reflected on how their parents influenced who they were now, or wrote letters talking about the things they wished they did or things they were grateful for. Parents also wrote about their new insights, now that they had children on their own. Members of the audience shared that these stories made them want to express their gratitude to their parents. The letters would then be put onto a collage, a wall of stories and letters written to say thank you.
The public installation and workshop would have a digital platform as well, and others could tag their work and the installation under the hashtag #dearparents. The online campaign would consist of not only social media accounts with stories and images of letters written, there would also be a website of all the responses received during the workshop. Clicking on the individual notes on the website would open the stories that people had written and displayed in public, where they can also be shared with others on social media.
The posters utilize the responses of the stories, and they can be placed in public spaces such as bus stops and tube stations, where people can read stories while they wait.