As part of our Making a Living project to use creative methods to explore how young people are coping with making a living, we recently announced an exciting opportunity for you to have your work showcased at our award winning festival!
We have created a method where you can imagine a day in the life of a young person in 2020 using the personas that have been developed – Invisible Citizens, Zombie Generation, Militant Optimists and Lifestyle Hackers. These have been produced thanks to the stories of over 80 young people across 25 cities in Europe on how they cope with making a living.
We’d like to thank Ryan and Maxime for imagining the day in the life of a Zombie Generation – Sophia.
Sophia is a French girl living in London. She lives with her parents in an attic they converted after she got evicted from her flat after she split up with her husband who moved back to Paris. She has two children from a relationship back in France. She is currently working as a supply teacher in several schools and would like to be a permanent teacher.
She needs to wash and get her children dressed for school and make them breakfast in time to walk them to the bus. She forgets to set her alarm, so wakes up late. By the time she has rushed through getting her children ready, the school bus has left. She eventually finds a route using the normal bus that can take her children to the school. She interacts with the bus driver telling them to watch out for her children to make sure they get off at the right stop. She tells them what two buses to take to get there. She then gets a different bus to the school she teaches at.
She does this because she needs to get her children to school, but she knows she can’t go on the same bus to make sure they get there safely as otherwise she will be really late getting into work. She feels frustrated she can’t accompany her children safely, but she knows they have had to become independent because of her work situation.
She needs to report her delay to the principal and then go to her class. She goes to the principal’s office to apologise for being late for work. He threatens to fire her, but says he will be kind and just cut her pay. She then goes to the classroom and all the children go crazy as they have been waiting for her.
She does this because she feels she needs to still teach the children, even though she wants to quit. She feels victimised and blames the agency that selects schools for her to be a supply teacher at.
She needs to meet colleagues for a coffee to discuss the next year. She goes to the staff room and explains what happened to one of the colleague she’s close to. The colleague tells her that she experienced the same situation recently and says this is the last straw, that only supply teachers in the school are treated like this. They should strike on their poor treatment. But for Sophie, this is her only job and she needs to pay for her children’s wellbeing.
In the end, she agrees to go on strike as she trusts her colleague. She feels torn, but feels that she has nothing to lose as her pay has been cut already.
She needs to pick up her children from school and help her colleagues occupy the school. She takes part in the occupation of the school with the other teacher, protesting for equal treatment of all teachers in their working conditions. The school children design flyers with the teachers. She calls her parents to pick up her children, but they can’t get out of work at the call centre and factory. She calls her oldest child Jonathan and asks him to walk Melissa his sister to her school.
She wants to stay at the occupation, but wants to be with her children too. She wants them to learn how its important to stand up for your rights.
Through this imaginary day, we see how even trivial issues like missing the bus can lead to dramatic events – like having your pay cut – which have an impact on making a living. But how trusting in other people – whether it’s the bus driver for watching out for her children or her colleague for agreeing to go on strike – helps her cope better. We see the constant tension between wanting to do the best for her children and having to ensure there is money coming in, while at the same time wanting to stick by her values even in the most desperate situations. It’s these everyday issues that policy makers need to reflect on to better design solutions with young people that help them cope with the crisis.
Like Maxime and Ryan, who not imagine a day in the life yourself of one of the personas?