I want my voice to be heard, but not only my voice, but that of my peers. So often it is translated that the millennial generation does not engage with politics, but I personally think it is better described as politics doesn't engage with us. I am not the most politically intelligent or best person to articulate this point with the precision and the delicacy it requires.
There is a TedX talk by Rick Edwards (presenter at BBC3 Free Speech), which I attended, that does a great job of outlining the reasons why most millennials feel disengaged politically. What I like about this talk is, he doesn't just presI want my voice to be heard, but not only my voice, but that of my peers. So often it is translated that the Millennial Generation does not engage with politics, but I personally think it is better described as politics doesn't engage with us. I am not the most politically intelligent or best person to articulate this point with the precision and the delicacy it requires.
Too often it is argued that the responsibility solely lies on us (Millennials) to change the way we operate politically, but what about the responsibility of those who operate the politics? Once again, I have to highlight that I am not the most politically inclined person, but one thing I do strongly agree with, is that politics, first and foremost must always cater and adjust to the whims of the people. So where is the effort of the establishment to cater towards us Millennials?
This point brings me to my "Millennial Generation Manifesto", which is by no means an attempt to cause radical political revolution; it is my attempt to raise awareness. Firstly amongst my peers, most of whom don't even know there is an election about to happen (forgive me if this is a generalisation and perhaps my specific peer group is more ignorant than others), and most of whom don't even know what a manifesto is (again forgive me if I'm wrong).
What I want most young people to acknowledge is that politics is not an abstract concept. It is, in it's most simplistic form, about having an opinion not just about voting and elections!! The lack of effort by the existing structures to involve us in the process has left us feeling that not only do we have no part in it, but even worse, that we should make no effort to be aware of it. I am guilty of being politically negligent myself in this respect. However, I am also well aware that all it takes to change this, is the inception of an idea. With the manifesto I am presenting to my fellow Millennials, I want to stress that politics starts with just a few viewpoints, that the ideas and topics you discuss everyday ARE politics. By participating in this campaign, you are taking your first steps politically.
The second purpose of the manifesto is to get the naysayers, who believe we can't unite politically, to acknowledge that we can, and can also do so coherently. I think just hearing some of the points raised will be an eye opener to many. However, most importantly, what I want the establishment to be aware of is that if you let us speak on the platforms we are comfortable on, it can make a huge difference. Referencing back to Rick's speech there is no justifiable reason why voting shouldn't be online. This is the language that we speak and the tone we use, why are we being coerced to communicate in a foreign language to translators who are making no effort to update their vocabulary? In the book "Wasted: How Misunderstanding Young Britain Threatens Our Future" by Georgia Gould, she highlights how young people have a lot to offer and politics has to stop asking what's wrong with young people and start asking what can we learn from them. We are a digital, entrepreneurial generation that gets collaboration and wants to find new ways to work together to create change. Although I have never engaged in any formal politics through my art, I have started a global conversation amongst young people about subjects, which have typically been viewed as discussions Millennials don't engage in. The platform and style I have chosen to create my work is a model of political dialogue which could be used to open up policy making. Politicians should take notice!
Will the number of young people voting in this election increase, because I wrote a track called "Message from The Millennial Generation" and got people to take part in a "mock campaign"? Probably not! What I can guarantee however is that next time the phrase "manifesto" pops up on twitter, Facebook or even Instagram, their eyes won't merely skim over it, rather they will pause and think "I wonder what this manifesto is about, and who is it by?", it then becomes the job of those in charge to make sure they are speaking the language that is engaging and readable. See what I'm doing may not be much, but it is a start and maybe the future generations can thank me for it later!
The Millennial Generation Manifesto Campaign can be viewed, where you can also here "Message From The Millennial Generation": http://breaks11.wix.com/mftmg