Youth in Lockdown? A German-Ukrainian Roundtable on the Public Sidelining of Youth Cultures During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

In Germany, Ukraine, and beyond, the youth sector was massively disrupted during the pandemic. Whereas governments supported large businesses while expecting little in return – in Germany, freehanded subsidies for the car industry and Lufthansa hamper the transition to ecofriendly forms of mobility, while the Ukrainian parliament adopted tax cuts to support large-scale investments -, teenagers and young adults were expected to stand in solidarity but received next-to-nothing in return. 

In Germany and Ukraine, forms of (self-)organization among the youth were disrupted, hindering emancipation processes. Meanwhile, popular forms of public expression and entertainment have been curbed.Both in Germany and Ukraine, keeping schools open has not been prioritized vis-à-vis other public spheres. In both countries, this has prompted warnings that remote schooling would exacerbate educational and economic inequalities that already exist.

All around the world, marginalized groups – including the young houseless, young Internally Displaced People (IDPs), and young migrants – have been further sidelined and confined as public spaces have shrunk or disappeared. But youth cultures have not stood idly by. In our roundtable, we will discuss the ways that teenagers and young adults have coped with these challenges.

Our panelists will share insights from their fields of expertise – spanning digital cultures, youth politics, the situation of IDPs, and German-Ukrainian exchange programs – to discuss if the pandemic has laid open ways out of the many current crises (economic, ecological, social).

Yuliia Kabanets
Charlotte Lohmann 
Uliana Movchan 
Wolfgang Schubert 

Moderated by Konstanty Kuzma

Further details about the event can be found here.

The roundtable is organized by the East European Film Bulletin in collaboration with the Center for World Music in Hildesheim.

The Ukraine Calling Alumni Summer is kindly supported by Robert Bosch Stiftung, Stuttgart.