Here's what it's like to be a teenager in Berlin today

In the latest installment of our '1616' series, i-D hits the German capital to meet the 16-year-olds making their mark on the city today.

by Alim Kheraj
27 November 2019, 8:00pm

“I'm only 16; I'm still young,” says Elliot from Berlin. “I will always learn something new every day. I like to push the boundaries and see how far I get.”

It’s a sentiment that encapsulates the approach to life that teenagers in the German capital city of Berlin have adopted. The city, known for its progressive approach to nightlife and culture, as well as its emphasis on individual freedom, is the perfect playground for our generation to explore and stretch the limits of their personal expression.

That’s not to say that life is all breezy, and the anxieties and threats that plague the rest of the world are still pervasive in Germany. However, young people are the driving force for change. “In Berlin, there's lots of small activist groups of teenagers,” explains Raven, “and our topics are things like climate change, gentrification, capitalism and feminism, of course.”

In fact, as i-D learned when we spent time hanging out with a bunch of 16-year-olds in Berlin to film a documentary about their experiences living in the city, they've got an infectious optimism. “The 'Fridays For Future' demonstrations give you hope,” explains Maja. “It's such a crazy feeling to stand in a crowd, everyone shouting the same and you know that it might change something, and that it maybe reaches the people up there.”

Watch the documentary in full below: