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The Children’s Republic of Shoreditch

June 29, 2012

Dear Citizen! We have made a new country called The Children’s Republic of Shoreditch. It is run by children and it has a postal service, a spy network and an embassy. We have been working on it for months now. We are making this country because we believe that children can be free and everyone is allowed to have fun. Please don’t think we are just a bunch of kids mucking around, we are serious.

So runs the message from the Official Letter Writers to the Republic. Their endeavour is the Ministry of Stories’ most ambitious project yet. The Republic will have an actual Embassy building entirely conceived of and designed by children, offering all the adventures outlined above. It will be open to members of the public every Saturday between 7th July-11th August, from 10am – 4pm.

From this building, the children will run the affairs of their own state-within-a-state and look forward to meeting and greeting school and family visitors who will be able to take part in the following on their visit:

• apply for citizenship and attain an official passport after passing through strict immigration control

• learn about the laws and customs that were created by the Republic’s Civil Service

• experience a Postal Service where letters can be delivered by helium balloon

• request responses from the Children’s Advice Bureau

• visit the Museum of Childhood Treasures

• take an interactive tour of the Republic specially designed by the Republic’s spy network, SANT (Secret Agents Never Tell)

The Embassy will be a place where children’s imaginations are physically realised and offers them the chance to interact with the creative decisions that they have taken through the conceptual stages of the project. It will also run workshops in which young people can further explore their creativity hosted by writers-in-residence including: Nick Hornby; children’s authors Andy Stanton, Justin Somper and Sufiya Ahmed; poet and artist Laura Dockrill; writer Joe Dunthorne, award-winning author, Meg Rosoff; and first-time novelist Ross Montgomery.

Co-founder of The Ministry of Stories, Nick Hornby said: “The Ministry of Stories has always aimed to challenge the traditional ways that children interact with education. The Children’s Republic of Shoreditch aims to give young writers further opportunities to explore questions about their identity and locality: what’s it like to be who they are in the place that they live and what might they like to change to make their life better?

It also gives the community’s adults an opportunity to better understand the young people around them. And, since the project is open to the public, the Children’s Republic of Shoreditch offers a rare opportunity for visitors to experience and celebrate what children’s imaginations can create.”

For more information or to find out how you can help, please email republic@ministryofstories.org