Child-dog faeces assemblages and children’s engagements in activist art

Debbie Watson*, Eric Morgan, Katie Bull

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Dog fouling is recognised as antisocial, unhealthy and illegal in England, yet it persists. Much action against dog fouling happens in communities and impacts are largely unrecorded. Here, we report an activist project with primary-aged children in Bristol, England that resulted in dog fouling reductions near schools and reflects on the role of children in effecting social change in their local environment. The paper takes a New Materialist turn, de-centring experience from the individual child to the child in assemblages of more-than-human relations. Photos of children’s interventions against dog fouling are presented to explore how they have used material resources and creativity to emphasise the health and social risks of faeces from a child’s perspective. This provides a focus on child–faeces–environment assemblages where children adopt methods of activist art that comprise matter including the faeces to convey a new relational ontology of dog fouling and a reifying of the ‘problem’.

Original languageEnglish
JournalChildren's Geographies
Early online date16 Mar 2021
Publication statusEarly online date - 16 Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • activist art
  • agential realism
  • children
  • Dogs
  • intra-action
  • New Materialism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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