"Orphans and care experience in literature"
- This article published to October 1st 2010 was written on 7th April 2017 -
'Superman was a Foundling’ was the title of an exhibit on the walls of The Foundling Museum erected in 2014 and still there today. The aim of the exhibit was to establish a list of characters who had been adopted and fostered in children’s homes.
In 2012 I spoke of this in a Ted Ted talk at the Houses of Parliament, a talk now seen by a million viewers. I had been speaking about the connection between characters in literature and young people in care for some years before. Here I'm describing it in 2010In 2012 I formulated and presented an event at Southbank Centre called “from Pip to Potter” to connect Orphaned, adopted fostered children in fiction with non fictional children in care today. Again the primary purpose was to identify the unseen characters in literature with the unseen young people in care.Rosie Canning was in the audience. She wrote to me and said “it was like a light bulb illuminating that dark place” . Canning applied to university of Southampton, was accepted in 2014 and built her PHD around the idea stating “I began the PhD journey when I attended Lemn Sissay's 'From Pip to Potter', at Southbank”Canning began work in September 2015 under supervision of Ms Rebecca Smith and co-supervisor Sujala Singh at University of Southampton. Her thesis topic is: Hiraeth: Finding a Fictional Home – A Creative Writing PhD. She says in her blog “I am going to be looking at the representation of orphans and care leavers in literature”. Rosie Canning set up a website in 2014 called Care Leavers In Fiction. I urge you to visit.