GAK Bremen
Public sphere


NO KIDS – Nursery Rhymes

Louise Ashcroft

In October 2022, Louise led a workshop at Künstlerhaus Bremen, where participants shared their mixed thoughts and feelings on childlessness. Afterwards, she published a questionnaire on childlessness here, which could be answered anonymously between March and June 2023. For June 1, 2023, International Children's Day, she discussed the results of her survey to create an online contribution in the form of Nursery Rhymes, a series of poems with audio narration and subtitles. For the poems, the artist used words and phrases from the answers to the questionnaire below.


1. Did you choose to be childfree, or is it more complicated?

2. What are your reasons for being childfree?

3. Have you faced any prejudice because you don’t have kids?

4. Children are seen as the future, so childless people can feel excluded from the future. Do you think you might regret it? And... if you don’t have kids, who will look after you when you get old?

5. Sophie Lewis’s new book Abolish the Family (Verso, 2022) is a critique of the “privatised” nuclear family structure that Western capitalism idealises. Do you think that the way we do family needs reform? Is it fair for parents or children? Is it the only “natural” way?

6. How could we reinvent and reform family. Do you have any ideas about what could change? For example, co-parenting, or beyond-nuclear versions of family. Be as inventive as you like!


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This contribution is part of The Palliative Turn.