“The Rhyming Guide to Joining the Army”: animated poem played at film festivals

Date: 13th October 2022
Category: Armed conflict

Illustration shows a sad teddy bear with a plaster on its face and arm in a cast.

The UK armed forces continue to target under 18s in their current military recruitment campaign. CRIN’s creative response – “The Rhyming Guide to Joining the Army” – continues to encourage critical thinking about the military recruitment of young people as it is played in film festivals in Ukraine and Berlin.

The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict came into force in 2002 and aims to protect children from recruitment and use in war. It says, “States will not recruit children under the age of 18 to send them to the battlefield” and obligates states to take “all possible measures to prevent such recruitment”. Despite this, the UK armed forces have released a campaign on social media sites targeting young people from 16 to join the British army.

CRIN’s powerful response in the form of an animated poem by spoken word artist Potent Whisper, animator Neda Ahmadi, and sound designers Torch & Compass continues to encourage critical reflection on the recruitment of children in the armed forces. The poem presents the stark contrast between life as a teenager and the realities of life as a teenager in the military and the mental toll it can take as the animation plays in film festivals in Ukraine and Berlin.