‘Political Youth’: a web-documentary to reinvent democracy in Europe

The last decade in Europe has seen young people on the front lines of social and political changes. Unwilling to accept the status-quo, many young people are now inventing a new politics across borders, in the name of social justice and a livable future.

For over one year, a team of video-makers have been travelling across Europe to tell the stories of young people who are at the forefront of political change, despite living in contexts of social inequalities. 

We have focused on five main topics which are representative of the issues of democracy, power, politics, policy-making, social and political participation.


Chapter 1: RIDERS

The first chapter of the documentary illustrates the reality of the gig economy through the eyes and stories of the riders and their grassroots associations in Milan, Bologna, Berlin, Madrid, and other cities where this phenomenon is on the rise.

Chapter 2: MIGRANTS

The topic of migration is one of the most burning issues in Europe. Faced with an increasingly large group of people that position themselves against solidarity and integration, hundreds of organizations and individuals throughout the continent are fighting for the rights of migrants. The second chapter of the documentary focusses on bottom-up activism, which seems to be one of the few instruments able to address the problems that come from political failure.

Chapter 3: ELECTIONS

In this chapter we follow the Western and Central Eastern European routes of Transeuropa Caravans on the search for new forms of political engagement and youth mobilisation across Europe.

Chapter 4: CLIMATE

The global movement Fridays For Future, demands an end to the age of fossil fuels and climate justice for everyone. This chapter follows Greta Thunberg in her first visit to Rome and the direct action techniques of the Ende Gelaende Stop Coal Movement in Lusatia.

Chapter 5: SPORTS

Community gyms are a practical and effective reaction to the problem, as well as being a driver for active citizenship. Through simple boxing or dance courses, people discover a new connection with their territory and new ways of social participation. They get involved, they organise, and they work together to build a service for their community, to make it a better place to live in.

Report: ‘Rejuvenating Europe’s Democracy’

As part of the web-documentary, we have published a report suggesting that the youth of Europe are disadvantaged by structural injustice and are often misrepresented, misunderstood and less well protected than other age groups. If Europe’s political institutions are unable to embrace a positive and transformative vision for the future of the continent and the world which addresses the concerns of young people and gives them voice and political agency over their lifetimes, evidence suggests that many of the youngest generation will do politics in a different way, some working for a positive vision but bypassing the institutions, others pushed to political extremes, and a majority disengaged and disenchanted. In the end, Europe’s political institutions at all levels face a familiar choice between good and bad government: either to embrace the transformative energy and optimism youth can provide to rejuvenate Europe’s democracies and make them more just, representative and responsive, with empowered and well-informed citizens, or to rest immobile and unresponsive to changing historical circumstances, ignoring the concerns of the youngest generations, providing inadequate political education and opportunities to engage, and becoming more closed, intolerant, irascible and unjust as a result.


History is back in Europe, whether we like it or not, and everything from past experience in such moments shows that paying attention to the experience of the youth is essential to responsible long term government. Luckily Europe has extensive cultural resources from its past it can deploy to help reflect on good government: in this report we also reimagine the famous Allegories of Good and Bad Government painted by Ambrogio Lorenzetti in Siena’s Palazzo Pubblico in 1338, to help illustrate the positive and negative scenarios for Europe’s future.


Would you like to help us build another Europe?