We are a group of 18-24 year olds employed by KWMC on a 6 month project. We were set the challenge of finding out why all the local teenagers were no longer spending time outside in the evening.
We heard reports that numbers of socially isolated teenagers had escalated in recent years, so we set out to see if there were links between this, the lack of young people going outside, and a dependence on technology and social media.
We gathered all of the stats featured on our site using a variety of creative data collection methods. We designed a survey that involved answering questions by throwing ping-pong balls into corresponding buckets. Then, to gather some more in-depth responses, we assembled hundreds of 3D cardboard milk cartons (as a spin on the missing people featured on cartons in classic American films) with questions inside. We handed these out to young people in local schools and colleges, and built a giant milk carton video diary booth where everyone could post or record their answers. Finally, we made a database to store all of our responses and see what interesting stats emerged. You can view all of our infographics on our data page.
Our title is a play on words, inspired by the term “The Growing Divide”. This phrase is often used to describe an increasing gap between social groups.
Through making this film we found many issues were caused by gaps that needed to be bridged; the gap between teenagers and adults, gaps between the digital world and the real world, the perceived gap felt by socially isolated people which distances them from the rest of the world.
The ‘Glow’ aspect of our title refers to the glow of a screen. Our field research data indicates that technology does have a role to play in social isolation locally. Although we understand that not all cases of social isolation are linked to technology, it was a prevalent factor for each of the teenagers we followed.
Nightwalks with Teenagers is an interactive performance, created by the Canadian theatre company Mammalian Diving Reflex. As part of In Between Time festival, teenagers of Knowle West took spectators on a guided tour of their area after dark. The performative journey aims to challenge preconceptions of teenagers, and encourage teens to take ownership of the area they live in.
The third challenge we set Ella, Charlie and Kyle was to take part in the Nightwalks. The aim of getting them involved with Mammalian Diving Reflex was to help them build their self-confidence.