Graphic novel launch for the #YoungEurope project
The day before Brexit proved a good occasion for discussing Europe. At the “Participation & Collaboration” conference, the focus was on young people’s perspectives on politics and society – and on what Europe means to them.
The evening was the highlight of #YoungEurope, a project carried out by TUI Stiftung (TUI Foundation) in cooperation with iRights.Lab for over a year. What should Europe look like in the future? More than 100 young people responded to an online invitation to participate, sending in their stories, wishes and experiences. In a series of workshops, together with young people from all over Germany, these submissions were then developed into a “Charta of Young Europe.” This Charta is a concrete, but also idealistic, vision for European politics, economy and society. In the lead-up to the 2019 European elections, it was presented to, among others, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, SPD Secretary General Lars Klingbeil, and the CDU/CSU parliamentary group leader in the German Bundestag, Ralph Brinkhaus.
How could one achieve what the project Young Europe has, inspiring young people to engage with political and social issues? And what do processes of online participation for young adults look like today?
The discussion of the evening started with these questions in a world café format. To sum up the outcome of the workshop: to reach young people, one needs to find the right channels and language. In addition, youth must be able to find suitable access to politics––or they must create it themselves. And although advances in technology make many things easier, what really counts remains the real people behind the smartphones and computers, and their commitment to a cause. Personal concern with and involvement in a certain political or social issue was mentioned as a particularly important factor.
This concern is reflected in the graphic novel Spiel der Sterne. (Game of Stars). Illustrators Sheree Domingo and Lina Walde transformed the stories and experiences of young Europeans into a beautiful story, which was launched on the evening of the conference with an accompanying musical performance.
In the story, four friends gather on a gloomy Sunday to play a video game called “Game of the Stars” in which they deal with Europe in 2034. While collecting garbage on the “Beach of Sustainability” or playing “Fake-News Tetris” in the “Tower of Education,” the young adults recall their experiences of Europe, such as their Erasmus studies or their first friends from other European countries.
And what happens in the end? Europe is as divided as ever. But there is hope: By 2034 the “Brenter” has long since happened… something undoubtedly achieved thanks to youth participation and collaboration.
Telefon: +49 30 40 36 77 230
Fax: +49 30 40 36 77 260