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Inner North of Melbourne Young People and the Pandemic

COVID-19 and young people’s ‘Future Presents’: lockdown stories from the Anthropocene

Our new journal article – COVID-19 and young people’s ‘Future Presents’: lockdown stories from the Anthropocenehas been published in the Journal of Youth Studies.

In this paper, we (Peter Kelly, Seth Brown and James Goring) draw on the outcomes of a place-based scenario planning project in Melbourne’s (AUSTRALIA) inner northern suburbs that was titled COVID-19 Recovery Scenarios for Young People in Melbourne’s Inner North. As part of that project, we conducted video interviews with 53 young people during what became an extended second lockdown period in Melbourne as the city dealt with a resurgence in COVID infections. In this paper, we present the stories of three young people – Rosie, Ash and Astrid – that are illustrative and inclusive of the uncertainties and hopes that young people in Melbourne’s inner north gave voice to.

We situate these young people’s stories in what Rosi Braidotti (2019) has identified as the convergence of the fourth industrial revolution and the sixth mass extinction. Our aim is to situate the pandemic, the social, cultural, economic and political responses to the pandemic, and the challenges and opportunities that this public health crisis produces for young people’s health and well-being, their education, training and employment pathways, and their sense of belonging, connectedness, even community, in the broader, unfolding crises of global capitalism, of earth systems, and of biodiversity that is heralded by the Anthropocene.

By James Goring

I am a Research Fellow in the School of Education at Deakin University, and the UNESCO UNEVOC Centre in the School of Education at RMIT University

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