Sent Away tells my dad’s story of being sent away to boarding school at the age of eight. Boarding schools can rip children out of their secure, loving homes and deposit them into a cold, unloving institution. Kids have to emotionally shut down, and cut off their sensitivities to themselves in order to survive this experience.
There is a connection to ideas of masculinity and a notion that small boys need to be ‘toughened up’. Sent Away explores the themes of masculinity and how children are institutionalised through the boarding school system. It is a personal story at its core, but also explores the wider implications of when kids are sent away to school.