Friday, 10 December 2010

Nativity: words and pictures.

It's been pretty much a year since I started this blog. Yesterday afternoon I found myself in the same position as a year ago when I watched a nativity play that I wasn't allowed to photograph or film (although I filmed and photographed in 2007 - see left). The fact that parents all over the country have been banned from recording their children's performances has received attention from the press this week in the Independent the Telegraph  and the  Daily Mail. The Mail article begins, 'Victory for common sense: Parents should be free to take pictures of their children's nativity play.' There was no such victory in the school that my children attend. I watched my daughter play a large part in what was her last nativity with mixed emotions: she was brilliant - she had memorised long passages of difficult words and had to step in at the last minute to take the part of a child who was ill - but I have no record of what was undoubtedly her most significant achievement of 2010.

Although 'Parents have been told they are free to photograph their children in school nativity plays and are urged to challenge teachers who tell them that it is forbidden,' (The Times) teachers are clearly not listening. As I challenged my daughter's head teacher yesterday, he informed me that a parent 'somewhere in the country' had contravened a photography ban this week and subsequently been removed from the school premises by the police: a cautionary tale to put camera-wielding mothers in their place.

I'll try to remember the way that my daughter spoke her lines, the way her face stretched itself around the long words, the way her hands clenched and unclenched themselves as she recited, the way she said 'extraordinary long time' instead of 'extraordinarily' which was one syllable too far - but ultimately I won't remember. Last year I took a notepad and a pencil to the nativity and tried to record it that way. But when I read the account back, it's just words; the words of a story that needs pictures too.

1 comment:

  1. Drat those people! we are still allowed to record our kids performances here but not allowed to do Nativities! The world has gone crazy! Hope you had a great Christmas Love JulieXXX