parisian 16-year-olds talk europe, love and liberté

In our new documentary, i-D hits the French capital and meets the teenagers making their mark on the city today.

by Douglas Greenwood
15 October 2019, 11:48am

This article originally appeared on i-D UK.

How does a city embody both togetherness and rebellion barely streets apart? Somehow, Paris manages it. From political protests to skate and arts scenes, the historical city’s streets and architecture have fast become a breeding ground for many modern movements.

Behind it all is a generation of young people growing up in a society that’s painted them as jaded; shaped by introspective ideas that hold no value in the real world. But go there and you’ll find the opposite is underway. Now more than ever, Paris’ 16-year-olds, on the cusp of adulthood but still young enough to see change as a real possibility, are balancing their traditional adolescence -- all house parties and falling in love -- with a new-found responsibility.

In i-D’s new documentary, we go to Paris to spend the day with 16 16-year-olds, talking to them about the ins and outs of growing up there. Together, they ruminate on the current state of the world, from the Notre Dame fire (“I think they could have given the [€1 billion] to a better cause”) to skipping school to join the recent protests against climate change (“If I was a pessimist I’d do nothing”), attended by over 150,000 people.

But in their downtime, life goes on: they come out to their parents, they make art with friends, and use social media as a springboard for their creative careers later down the line. As one girl tells us: “We realise what the world will look like tomorrow.”

Watch the documentary in full below:

This article originally appeared on i-D UK.

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