A new edition of Next Generation, please! hits BOZAR in 2018, but twelve schools and youth organisations are already debating and creating - on the crossroads between art and politics.
A group of 200 young people will meet politicians and policymakers during a series of debates, after which they will set to work under the supervision of artists to transform their ideas into films, performances, installations or text. Each group has a partner institution in Europe, including in Greece, Hungary, Denmark and the Netherlands.
Naturally, all this work is not limited to what goes on behind the scenes. From 9 until 13 May, BOZAR is hosting a festival where these young people can share their creations with the world.
As is the case every year, Next Generation, Please! can rely on the assistance of two excellent mentors. Vincent Glowinski, or BONOM, is an astonishing visual artist, whether on walls all over Brussels or on the stage of a dance production. He has agreed to be responsible for the artistic aspect. The second mentor for this year’s festival is Professor Hendrik Vos (Ghent University), an expert on current political issues in Europe.
It will come as no surprise that Next Generation, Please! has already garnered plenty of international attention. In early November, Soul of Europe invited BOZAR to host a workshop on the project in Berlin. Soul of Europe is a two-day conference for artists, politicians, journalists, scientists and others to reflect on active citizenship and the role of art and culture in shaping Europe’s future.
The workshop used the speeches of European policymakers, Barack Obama and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the lyrics of British hip hop artist Lady Leshurr as a starting point, challenging the participants to draft a joint statement, expressing their dreams, wishes and fears about the future of Europe. You can read the result below:
I have failed you.
But I don’t know who you are.
You once promised
Unity in diversity
You promised a common future.
I took you for granted. But be honest,
Do you want to share your power?
I want to trust you,
But do you trust me?
I am here, and so are you.
We are Europe,
So, what now?
I commit to
Help my community be a better place
Participate in decision making
Pay my taxes
Agree to disagree
Fight for humanity
I want to listen.
So, let’s do this together.