Ungdom i Opbrud
At blive voksen i Europa (fra 1945 til i dag)
I løbet af de seneste 70 år er unge i Europa gået fra at være vidner til historien til at være dem, der faktisk skriver historie. Denne udstilling ser nærmere på fire generationer af unge, som blev voksne på centrale tidspunkter i den europæiske historie: i slutningen af 1940'erne, 1960'erne, 1980'erne og 2000'erne. Den undersøger de vigtigste erfaringer, som unge gør sig: fra at tage en uddannelse og få et arbejde til at skabe sig en identitet og finde kærligheden.
Sådanne erfaringer er uundgåeligt formet af samtidens politiske, samfundsmæssige, kulturelle og økonomiske forhold. Det er meget anderledes at være ung i et velstående og frit samfund end i et samfund, der er præget af fattigdom eller politisk undertrykkelse.
I hele Europa valgte unge at bryde med deres forældres værdier og se sig selv som en særskilt generation – "min generation". De skabte deres egen kultur med egne værdier – værdier, som de unge var klar til at kæmpe og endda dø for.
Men selv om denne udstilling handler om unge, henvender den sig ikke kun til dem. Vi har alle været ung engang, og selv om ungdommen måske er flygtig, bliver den sjældent glemt.
Europe’s Quiet Generation?
The Second World War had deeply traumatised young people and their families. Loved ones were lost or separated from each other, the infrastructure of daily life laid in ruins. Against the backdrop of scarcity and shortage, young people were getting on with their lives. Wedding dresses made out of parachute silk and cardboard wedding cakes symbolise the struggle to create a sense of stability and normality.
Unfortunately, the end of the war did not always mean the end of violence and peace for everybody. Struggles of in the form of wars and opposition movements continued in many countries. Instead of enjoying the long-desired freedom, young people were again affected by violence and severe punishments. In newly established communist regimes in Eastern Europe young people became involved in a number of resistance movements, both peaceful and armed.
He was carrying the saw on his back during a sudden raid. Kokk got shot but the saw stopped the bullet and he was unharmed. However, in 1949 Kokk was deported to Siberia, where he died.
In the immediate aftermath of the war, a specific youth culture did not yet exist in Europe. However, newly emerging youth cultures influenced by America attracted wide scores of Europe’s youth who wished to express their individuality and opposition to the conformity of society. Different subcultures emerged in almost every country: Teddy Boys and Rockers in the UK, Blousons noirs in France, Teppisti in Italy, Nozem in the Netherlands, Halbstarken in Germany, Bikinarze in Poland, Jampecok in Hungary, Malagambisti in Romania, Potápkas or Páseks in Czechoslovakia, and Stilyagi in the Soviet Union.
Authorities in East and West were alarmed by the rise of the youth subcultures. Increasingly, government and the police viewed these young people as hooligans and juvenile delinquents, and harassed them because of their appearance.
Europe’s young people and youth movements expressed a desire for peace, which would only be fulfilled by them acting across national boundaries. Youth was depicted as beautiful, strong, and — with peace symbols — united internationally in the fight for freedom. International youth camps and youth meetings were organised across Europe as a means of post-war reconciliation.
The Cold War changed this situation as Soviet domination gripped Eastern Europe, isolating it and disrupting broad international exchange. Youth and young people became a key weapon in the propaganda war between East and West.