There is no exact known number of children currently being utilised in warfare worldwide. The issue of the military use of children is so widespread that no figure can be calculated, although it is estimated that there are currently over 250,000 child soldiers across the world. Many are drugged and brainwashed into murder, many are forced to sever all ties with their family or watch them die. Most are faced with a simple choice: kill or be killed. Although the notion of child soldiers is vastly alien to contemporary Australian society, it is a reality in many parts of the world. ISIS have been known to employ the use of children in warfare and over 30,000 children have been abducted into the Lord’s Resistance Army for military purposes. It was my intent from the first conception of my piece to explore the idea of child soldiers in a way that would resonate with an Australian audience, and generate thought surrounding an issue that is too often forgotten simply because it is not prevalent in our own society.
Deep analysis of the use of children in warfare arouses many moral and ethical questions; ones that may find significance in the lives of ordinary people. Is it right to do everything you can to protect yourself and the people you love? How far can loyalty be pushed? To the point of a breakdown of moral standards? These were questions I sought to directly address in my piece, as I felt that they related not only to the world of child soldiers but also to the personal moral journeys of most individuals. I elected to write for an adult audience, due largely to the provocative nature of my subject. I envision my piece featuring in an Australian literary journal, such as Griffith Review or Overland, which commonly presents challe...
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...ire more than narrative to truly portray. Theatre allows a dynamic array of ways to convey meaning which I have utilised, such as the use of Ring-a-Ring A Roses, that evokes ideas of both childhood innocence and the underlying destruction of disease, as well as the imagery of the mound of children’s’ corpses that creates a shocking image for the audience and brings perspective to the enormity of the issues of children in warfare.
Producing this piece of work has been a greater challenge than I ever anticipated. The amount of research and planning I would need to conduct was far greater than what I had envisioned, and as such I struggled to write in the casual way I am accustomed to. My major work has proved to be a journey that has pushed the boundaries of my writing ability and challenged me to think differently about the world and the ways in which I represent it.
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