Children’s Game #16: Hopscotch

Sharya Refugee Camp, Iraq, 2016; 4:02 min
In collaboration with Julien Devaux and Félix Blume


Outside a stark tent city, this version of the game involves a grid of squares, two across by six long, marked by lines gouged into the arid ground. The player tosses a stone into the grid and starts hopping up one side of it to where the stone lies, careful to land only once in each square or station. When the stone is reached it must be kicked or nudged back down the other side to the start line, still hopping on the same foot. The test is difficult, and few succeed. For as the closing subtitles tell us: ‘In ancient cultures hopscotch symbolizes the progress of the soul from Earth to Heaven. The player hops between Worlds to escape Hell and reach Heaven, from which he will return to Earth reborn and redeemed.’

Lorna Scott Fox

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