NYT op-ed: The Role of Youth
This video draws on ideas and material from a larger film we are making called "Teenage.” That project examines the history of youth and shows how teenagers, as we know them today, were born.
Throughout history, adults have tried to control youth because they represent the future. Young people often fight back, trying to create their own world that is separate from their parents. At the end of World War II they were finally given a name: “teen-agers,” an ideal of young people as consumers. That model for youth spread around the world, and still exists today.
With teenage unemployment soaring, young people can no longer influence the world with their wallets. As Occupy Wall Street and student protests began exploding across the globe this fall, we felt compelled to connect our work to these burgeoning movements. Similar generational conflict and disparate youth movements were born out of the Great Depression.
These movements share a common goal: to re-imagine the future. It’s an exciting premise that is perhaps the hallmark of adolescence, and a vision typical of history’s most influential youth cultures. Many adults discredit youthful rebellion simply as an emotional rite of passage. However, it is our belief that this style of unrest can bring about real change.