A youth to be nurtured

By Camille FratiGilles KayserLex Kleren Switch to French for original article

Young people are the future of our society, yet times are hard for them. Many initiatives exist to support them. We take a look at two different approaches, one through culture, the other through work.

"It's Elon Musk!" Elias, 16, exclaims at the cover of a 1960s American magazine depicting a futuristic city of glass domes. Was it a mistake? On the contrary. "Look at Elon Musk's tweet in which he promises to build glass houses on Mars", smiles the cultural mediator, Marie-Paule Greisch. "It's almost the same image", remarked the young people in the 5AD class (preparatory school) of the Nic Biver high school in Dudelange. And this is how the New Minett exhibition confronts today's visitors with representations of space and a dreamed future.

Conceived by the Franco-Luxembourg company Eddi van Tsui, the exhibition closes its project "Esch-Mars. De terres rouges en terres rouges" developed within the framework of Esch2022. "This is a project we worked on for 14 months", explains Pierrick Grobéty, co-curator of the exhibition. "We were interested in the colonisation of space and societal utopias through the prism of Mars."

The artists met with 40 scientists and 500 citizens, in nursing homes, on the street, in a classroom… "In a school, we proposed to the students that they should be able to participate in the exhibition. In one school, we asked 10 and 11 year olds to write a message to send to the universe. They came up with very hard messages: 'don't come here, there is pandemic and war', 'there is social inequality', etc." And their idea of the future was just as striking. "Some drew their future home as a bunker surrounded by people with guns", recalls Sandy Flinto, also a member of the art company. "As a political system, they saw a nice dictatorship where you choose a good and generous dictator who stays in place. A dictatorship, not a democracy because changes in power can be harmful. We were shocked…"

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