What is it like to be young and restless in Europe? The immersive exhibition Restless Youth in the House of European History in Brussels focuses on this question. Visitors will experience a compelling journey through the passions and struggles of youth in Europe over the last 70 years. In that period, young people in Europe have gone from being a group to whom history happened, to a group that actually makes history. The brief was to create an exhibition about the ‘restless youth’ from 1945 to now with an interdisciplinary approach, combining history, culture, sociology and psychology.
The exhibition takes us through four generations that grew up at crucial points in European history: 40s, 60s, 80s and 2000s. The defining experiences of youth form the leitmotiv in this journey through time: from work and education, developing an identity, to become politically active, and finding love.
Original objects, music, film, fashion, art, television and personal stories are quintessential to revive the times and catch the zeitgeist. Visitors can go back in time by writing love letters at the milk bar from the 40s or putting a record on the jukebox. They can play the guitar and dress up as mods or hippies in the 60s. In the 80s, they can create their own protest buttons, while MTV video clips provide the right atmosphere. The spatial translation of the ‘zeroes’ is that of the Internet, which has shaped the way young people communicate, work, date, move, and protest.
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