“These four books could symbolise different parts of our lives or parts of our minds.”
“The impact of stress and work are represented through the English book and the planner represents how we want to get things in order.”
“The Psychopath Test book represents the need for a break and the black visual diary represents the need for privacy and creativity for our own peace of mind.”
“In a time where students are highly stressed and trying to do their best, there is an increase of mental health issues.”
Photographer: Sahnly Phan Chan
This photograph featured in the Youth Booth exhibition showcasing the work of 10 Victorian young people produced over the 2019-2020 Australian summer. Their work captures their collective experience: being digitally savvy, the stress of study, influence of social media, climate change and the impact of poor mental health. These perspectives, along with our video series produced alongside this, allow us to see the complex situations that impact the youth experience of education.
For schools, teachers, parents and policy-makers it highlights the importance of listening and collaboration with young people, particularly when developing policies and implementing practice to build more inclusive communities. For researchers, we hope this exhibition highlights one way to use participatory visual research methods to support and strengthen the voice of youth.
The exhibition adopts a rights-based perspective which emphasises the importance not only of listening to youth, but actively and authentically collaborating on matters that directly affect them.
The study was conducted by researchers Dr Christine Grove and Louisa Trainer in 2019-2020 at Monash University and is funded by the Monash Education Small Grant Award.