Year XIII, n°43, September – December 2023 [ ADOLESCENCE

Year XIII, n°43, September – December 2023
curated by Marie Moïse, Chiara Organtini and Giulia Grechi

curated by Cristina Pancini e Anna Chiara Cimoli

[…] But let me begin
again: There’s a boy kneeling
in a house with every door kicked open
to summer. There’s a question corroding
his tongue. A knife touching
Your finger lodged inside the throat.
Dearest Father, what becomes of the boy
no longer a boy? Please –
what becomes of the shepherd
when the sheep are cannibals?

Ocean Vuong, Prayer for the Newly Damned


We don’t know anything (any more). We do not have the tools to decode behaviors and choices.

A big ‘don’t’ seems to precede any discourse on adolescents, a discourse that is often read in clinical or pathological terms, looked at through a concerned adult lens, resigned or overloaded with expectations.
The flattening of adolescence onto an alien nature – a room to which we have lost the key – dominates the public discourse, punctuated by the ‘before-during-after pandemic’, which throws the responsibility of a generation looked at as if behind glass onto the covid, thus relieving adults of any guilt, but also any possibility of dialogue.
The result is that the research on this generation comes mainly from the field of psychology, or from that of marketing. Between the emergence of psychological distress and the ‘normality’ of business as usual lies a no-man’s land whose dominant feature seems to be the application of old categories to new phenomena.
As educators, artists and cultural operators who work with adolescent boys and girls, we wonder how much we do not know or do not want to see; when the chasm has been dug, when our society has become ‘sick of adolescence’, reading its alienated traits but neither celebrating nor listening to its insights. We wonder what energies are being prepared for a radical redefinition of intergenerational relations and how to reopen the channel of listening communication to facilitate this redefinition, no matter how conflictual.
“Roots’ No. 43 aims to support this effort: it wants to be a question. Contributions, in the form of text, video, audio, images, can explore the following areas:

● representations of adolescence through artistic languages
● experiences of co-design and cultural participation developed with teen-agers
● educational experiments through visual and performing arts
● gaming and use of technologies
● regulated bodies, undisciplined bodies, changing bodies, desiring and desired bodies
● forms of activism enacted by adolescents
● practices of self-determination
● educational experiences in the museum
● adolescence and public spaces
● artistic practices in contexts of migration, refuge, marginality, detention.

Contributions that touch on themes or points of view that we have not been able to imagine are also welcome.
The issue is edited in collaboration with an editorial team of teenagers (Maria Boella, Alessia Giannini, Elena Mauri, Luca Muscogiuri, Matteo Rancati, Miriam Sarais). It would not be possible for us, from the point of view of method, to produce the issue without a dialogue with them, which opened up, with curiosity and mutual trust, in the space of a few minutes.