The Burghers of Calais, one edition of which is permanently situated outside the Houses of Parliament, was commissioned to memorialise a moment during the Hundred Years’ War when Calais had been under siege by the English for over a year. King Edward offered to spare the people of the city on condition that six of its burghers would surrender themselves. Although they expected to be executed, the burghers’ lives were spared by the intervention of the English queen. The Children of Calais evokes a parallel narrative: the sacrifice being demanded of these young people for our ‘greater good’, the numerous public and political voices calling for them to be used for political leverage, and the potential for humanity to yet hold sway.
Unveiled by Lord Dubs on the 8th June 2018.
- Cast by Des Stanley