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Restless Youth


In the past 70 years, young people in Europe have gone from being a group to whom history happened, to a group that actually makes history. This exhibition looks at four generations of such young people who came of age at key moments in the European story: the late 1940s, the 1960s, the 1980s and the 2000s. It explores the key experiences of youth; from education and employment, to forging an identity and finding love.

Such experiences are inevitably shaped by the politics, society, culture and economics of the time. Being young in an affluent and free society is very different from a youth shaped by poverty or political oppression.

Across Europe, young people chose to break with the values of their parents and view themselves as a distinct generation – ‘my generation’. They forged their own culture with its own set of values; values that young people were ready to fight and even die for.

But while this exhibition is about young people, it is not just for them. All of us were young once, and while youth may be fleeting, it is rarely forgotten.

Family Trail: Restless Youth

How many doves of peace will you find in the exhibition? What did your parents look like when they were 20? Long hair or dyed hair? Very short skirts? What will you look like when you grow up? Ask your parents to share a memory of a journey they made when they were 20 Through questions and games, the family trail lets you discover the interests and passions of young people from the past and  helps you explore the issues that might be important to you in a few years’ time.

Practical information: The family trail is available free of charge in the exhibition, for kids from 6 to 10, in English, French, Dutch and German.


Generations in Europe