Caution, Children! Protected, Loved, Endangered

07.07.2017 to 14.01.2018

Caution, Children! Protected, Loved, Endangered” is the Humboldt Forum’s second exhibition under the aegis of the Steering Committee’s three members, Neil MacGregor, Hermann Parzinger and Horst Bredekamp. The exhibition exemplifies the Humboldt Forum’s cooperative approach, illustrating ideas and themes which will be of key importance to the Humboldt Forum of the future: culture, nature, migration, religion and globalization. The Humboldt Forum is aiming to communicate cutting-edge scholarship in an interdisciplinary and interactive manner. The contents of the exhibition will be augmented by discussions, talks, tours and workshops held in a range of languages.

The way social groups and cultures relate to children is a strong indicator of the bonds that hold them together. In Europe children were long considered miniature forms of grown people, essentially as small adults. This fundamental idea has recently been turned on its head to the extent that not only are adults permitted to act like children, they are actually encouraged to do so. In both past and present there were and are contradictory notions of what constitutes “normal” behaviour.

There are similar tensions surrounding the primary function of adults in caring for children: their role as protectors. Since time immemorial there has been a basic consensus that children must receive sufficient nutrition and learn about the demands of the adult world through play. Yet these requirements are a long way from being satisfied in many regions of the world – often they are rendered impossible due to external conditions or family strife.

What kind of protection is appropriate for each individual child? Even where protection can be guaranteed, there is a danger it will lead to too many restrictions. This quandary is particularly apparent in the extreme situation of people being forced to flee their homes. Even in times of peace and plenty, there is a thin line between danger, protection and “protective control”. Education and coercion, freedom and commitment, refuge and migration can all play a decisive role in children’s weal and woe. This triple set of conditions are symbolically reflected in rituals, objects and myths of supernatural forces and powers.

The exhibition "Caution, Children!" has been organized by the Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss jointly with the Museum Europäischer Kulturen, the Museum für Asiatische Kunst, the Ethnologisches Museum and the Antikensammlung of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz as well as the Stadtmuseum Berlin and the Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin. This exhibition has been made possible thanks to the representative of the Federal Ministry for Culture and Media following a resolution passed by the German Federal Government.

Visitor entrance

Schlossplatz 5
10178 Berlin

Bus 100, 200, TXL
S-Bahn Haltestelle Hackescher Markt
U-Bahn Haltestelle Spandauer Str. / Marienkirche

Sun 10:00 - 19:00
Mon 10:00 - 19:00
Tue 10:00 - 19:00
Wed 10:00 - 19:00
Thu 10:00 - 19:00
Fri 10:00 - 19:00
Sat 10:00 - 19:00

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