Ungdommens Folkemøde
& artist curator Beatriz gonzalez rodriguez

Youth
Voices
Matter

Public art Installation In collaboration with Ungdomsbureauet at Ungdommens Folkemøde – 8th 9th September 2021 Copenhagen:

A democratic society requires citizens to have a political opinion and engage with democratic practices from the age of 18. However, what is happening before one is legally able to participate in the building of the local community? When one is supposed to forge their political opinion? In order to address this question, we collected testimonies from 15 to 20 years old youngsters, about their awareness of the political dynamics. We figured that the youth is quite aware and conscious of their soon-to-be political ‘agenda’. 

However, although some already crafted political opinions (through family or social media for instance), most of them feel that anyway, their voices wouldn’t be listened to in the Danish democracy before they turn 18 years old. In addition, politics are perceived as conflictual, and many feel vulnerable when it comes to raising their voice and their opinions. An event like Ungdommens Folkemøde creates an opportunity to empower the democratic voice of the Danish youth.

With this interactive art installation, we aim to create a space where youth voices can resonate and be heard by both citizens and policy makers. The installation is based on interconnectivity of 2 spaces:

The booth: We’ll use the representation of a voting booth, evoking intimate space , to create a safe space where the youth we’ll be welcomed to share their opinion, and where there is a microphone connected live to the “Temple” situated in the middle of the plaza – 30 meters away from the booth.


The plaza: It’s a space where people can spend time sitting, relaxing and  actively listening to what is been said inside of the booth (live installation). In the middle of the plaza will be situated a sculpture that will represent the temple of the youth voice and where the speakers will be located and the voices will come from .

Final Map of the Festival

In collaboration with Sweet Aarhus at Dokk1- 20th and 21st October 2021:

This time we wanted to bring the installation to Aarhus, where currently Nov 2021 the city is preparing for new political elections for the city council, and by creating a space with agency for the youth to act and speak out their thought and experiences; why their voice matter? how they will feel more included in danish democracy? how it looks when they feel included? and if they had any message for the future politicians?

We also wanted these voices to be listened to publicly as a new form of democracy and serve us as an experiment of how democracy can be inclusive and equal to contribute to.

We invited youth between 15-35 to participate and take part in our interactive exhibition:

Quote from one of our participants: 
“I feel grateful for getting the opportunity to speak out in the public realm and having the feeling to be listened to, it reminds me what a real democracy should be about” (context- youth voices matter installation)” 

 

Learnings from the artist:
“People as the citizens and especially the youth want to contribute improving the life of the city. I found through the installation that creating more creative informal spaces where people feel safer and not being judged, increase the possibility of engagement and possible ideas/imaginaries as solutions for current social issues in Aarhus.
It was very fascinating to explore the different reactions on how citizens see, use and feel the public space in Dokk1 when they have been asked to go public with their opinions, realizing how uncommon is to do that in our society and political systems and as well this reflects the lack of us being asked (as the public) by public authorities like politicians and the public administration.
By researching and experimenting with new methodology about the social turn as we do in youth voices Matter art installation, we aim to show the collective imagination and richness of people’s ideas regarding the development of the city, opening up for individual reflexions and common public discourse.”