Posted: 30th March 2023
Imagining our futures: Final Installation in Sollentuna Library
By Mikaela Nyström
Our final workshop in Sollentuna, Sweden, brought together young people from across Europe to imagine ‘our future, your future’ and how it might be created. Following a dissemination event, where young people shared their visions with the public, stakeholders, and policy makers, we organised an installation in Sollentuna Library as a chance for the community to learn more about the Future Narratives project.
The aim of the installation was to give visitors the opportunity to learn about the project’s journey and goals, and to create a space for young people to engage, connect, and share their vision for the future. At the core of the Future Narratives project is the belief that storytelling is a truly powerful tool for shaping the world we want to live in, and that is why we want to equip young people with the skills, tools, and platforms they need to make their voices heard. By fostering dialogue and collaboration in interactive activities like this installation, we aim to create a community of young people who are empowered to make positive change.
Ingrid, the librarian at the Sollentuna Library, was happy to provide a space for the installation: “When the library was asked to host the exhibition, I jumped right in. It’s always fun to raise young people’s voices and creativity.”
The exhibition included placards and photos placed around the library entrance, each of them accompanied by a QR code. By scanning these QR codes, the visitors could get more in-depth information about a particular workshop, production or concept on the Future Narratives website. Through framing questions that were displayed on colorful prints in the Future Narratives design, visitors were encouraged to reflect on different scenarios and ideas about the future. Questions like “What was the most important moment in your life that changed you, and how?” and “If you were to choose a title for your ideal future, what would it be?” aimed to spark thoughts and discussions among the visitors. Through a QR code, they could access an online form where they could share their ideas and reflections.
Upon reading their answers, we saw that some common themes included concerns about the environment and climate change, hopes for technological innovation and progress, and desires for a better world in terms of equality, peace, and justice. Some also reflected personal goals and dreams for their own future, such as pursuing a certain career or having a family.
During the workshop in Sweden, one of the last activities we had with the young people was to explore the future through art. The aim was to encourage the participants to express their visions of the future, using shapes and colors as a form of self-expression. There was only one rule: no rules! The intention was to let go of all existing limitations and fears and be as free as possible in the creative process. Some youths decided to paint their own painting, while others joined in together on one canvas. The workshop resulted in many different expressions and sharing of stories and ideas behind the different visualizations. These paintings were also displayed in the installation in Sollentuna Library, providing the entrance with an uplifting burst of colors and shapes.
Over the past two years, the Future Narratives participants have explored different narratives and perspectives on the future together, through international workshops in each of their countries. The young people have developed skills in communication, collaboration, and creative problem-solving.
The exhibition at the Sollentuna Library was the culmination of this two-year effort, and we hope that it has inspired visitors to think critically about the future and consider the role that youth can play in shaping it. We are grateful to the Sollentuna Library and Sollentuna Municipality for providing a space for us to showcase the project, and we look forward to continuing our efforts to empower youth to create a better tomorrow!