Raina Kirn

Little Warriors


Childhood is an emotionally charged terrain of self–discovery. This series of psychological landscapes charts an unpredictable world of social hierarchy and the placing of self in that landscape. This journey is about exploration, and the ways in which kids investigate the worldthrough t rial and error and by testing themselves and others. All children experience this as they grow older, as they navigate their way through the world of their peers, and as they become a part of the adult world.

Our early experiences have effects that ripple through the rest of our lives. What memories, patterns and behaviours do we carry from childhood? What threads get passed down to the next generation? This series explores these ideas and is loosely inspired by the memories and stories of my own family history, in which three generations of women, my grandmother, my mother and I, grew up without fathers. To varying degrees we learned how to raise ourselves.

I have chosen to work solely with females in this project because young girls still face more obstacles related to their gender: discrimination, low self-esteem, fear, negative body image, and the likelihood of physical or sexual abuse. These narratives celebrate their resilience and strength without negating their vulnerability. The young characters in these stories are fragile and fierce, lonely and rebellious, wild and resilient.