What's left for the young?

A note from the editor

Yohann Koshy

Forever young...

A sobering realization: I have 11 months left of being young. Well, to be more precise, I have 11 months left until my 16-25 Young Person’s Railcard – a little orange voucher that entitles me to a third off ticket prices on Britain’s dysfunctional railways – expires for good. I recently renewed it for the last time with a sense of wistful dread; I’ll soon be cast out into the world of responsible adulthood.

Or will I? Only a few weeks ago, the rightwing Conservative government, desperate to rally young people flocking to the Labour opposition, announced a pilot scheme: the millennial railcard. This would introduce the same fare discount for people up to the age of 30. Just like that, I felt my youth extend by another five years.

The railcard is a telling development: you know the economy is in dire straits when even 30-year-olds can’t be expected to pay adult rates. It relates to an idea that lingered in my mind as I researched this edition’s Big Story: millennials are trapped in permanent adolescence, locked in a straitjacket of youth.

Speaking to and reading about under-employed and resourceful young people, from graduates in the Democratic Republic of Congo to migrants in Naples, I saw the outlines of an exhausted generation who want nothing more than to grow up.

The stereotype of millennials as work-shy and mollycoddled faded under scrutiny. As I hope this collection of stories demonstrates, they are a cohort who work ceaselessly: both to survive and, crucially, to create the conditions for a better future.

As this is the first issue of another Brave New Year it also carries the Unreported Year, which focuses on stories that were sidelined by the dominant media in 2017, such as indigenous resistance to mining projects in Brazil and ‘artivists’ demanding peace in South Sudan.

At the back is a Q&A that evokes another generation of young radicals, as New Internationalist’s founding editor, Peter Adamson, recalls how student campaigning in the early 1970s was the springboard for starting this magazine.

Yohann Koshy for the New Internationalist co-operative.
www.newint.org

Keynote article.

Students in Britain protest proposed increases to university tuition fees, 9 December 2010.

Students in Britain protest proposed increases to university tuition fees, 9 December 2010.

Photo: Guy Corbishley/Alamy Stock Photo

Arrested Development

Millennials have been condemned to a life of permanent adolescence. Despite the obsession with all things shiny and new, Yohann Koshy argues that young people are using old-fashioned ideas to chart a way forward.

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The demonstration strayed from its path and came to a pause at the base of a nine-storey office block, half-a-mile from the Houses of Parliament. Many in the crowd of 50,000 students did not know the building’s significance. A few made their way past the thin line of police officers and entered the foyer, throwing things about and making a mess of its marbled interior.

Those without the bravado to cross the threshold – most of us – cheered them on, reaching a triumphant pitch when a group ap...




Features.

A public billboard produced by the Uganda Health Marketing Group.

Fear of a young planet

Young Africans need to resist the way they are being spoken about, argues Wangui Kimari.

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Kids at work

What is life really like for millennials? What kind of jobs do they do? What do they make of their precarious futures? We look at the lives of three young people across the world: a Gambian migrant in Italy, a Dalit student in India, and a trans vlogger in the UK.

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Protestors celebrate the removal of a statue of Cecil Rhodes from the University of Cape Town, April 2015.

Over the rainbow

A new generation of black activists in South Africa don’t have the ‘patience’ of their parents. Chris Webb looks at how the education system has become a flashpoint of struggle.

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Seize the memes of production

A look at the role internet memes play in young people’s political conversations.

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Young girls in Malaysia are finding a safe space in social media networks.

A group of one’s own

Hussein Kesvani reports on how young Muslim women are using social media to create a safe space to self-educate and share ideas.

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Laughing and crying

A story of cause and effect doesn't tell us everything about the relationship between social media use and mental health, argues Marcus Gilroy-Ware.

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The unreported year 2017

From Ukraine to South Sudan – stories and photos from around the world that you might have missed in 2017, compiled by Kelsi Farrington

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Opinion.

The obscenity of extreme wealth

Some people have so much money they don’t know what to do with it – while most of us scrimp and save just to get by. Mark Engler reflects on the vulgar reality of extreme wealth.

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Sean Spicer, Donald Trump’s first Press Secretary.

The rebranding of a rotter

Sean Spicer, Trump’s first Press Secretary, lied from the very beginning of the new presidency. We shouldn’t let him whitewash himself with showbiz, writes Steve Parry

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Agenda.

Post-Hurricane Maria, it’s a long, slow road to recovery for small-island states of the eastern Caribbean.

Gone with the wind

Hurricane Maria swept through Dominica, destroying 62 per cent of all dwellings and killing 57, Richard Swift reports.

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Game over for hunters in Tanzania

Game over for hunters in Tanzania

Maasai activists hope Tanzania’s newly appointed Natural Resources Minister Hamisi Kigwangalla could put an end to big-game trophy hunting, Nick Dowson writes.

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‘Curing’ homosexuality

‘Curing’ homosexuality

LGBT+ people are still subjected to forced confinement, medication and even electric shocks to try to change their sexual orientation, writes Alessio Perrone.

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Introducing... Jacinda Ardern

Richard Swift profiles New Zealand/Aotearoa’s new 37-year-old Prime Minister – the country’s youngest in 150 years.

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Men tackle domestic violence

Men tackle domestic violence

Meet the non-profit art group trying to end violence against women in Mozambique. By Rebecca Cooke.

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Illicit crops are still the only option for farmers like Arnulfo Perdomo.

War on coca farmers continues

Inside the deeply-rooted economy of cocaine production and trafficking in Colombia, and how it might undermine Colombia’s peace. Bram Ebus reports.

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Tbilisi, Dissidents Georgia

No room for dissidents

Georgia was once hailed as a ‘beacon of democracy’ by Western powers, but geopolitics and economic interests have taken priority over human rights, writes Onnik Krikorian.

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Radio in exile

Radio in exile

The story of Radio Inzamba, daring to report on human rights abuses, told by Giedre Steikunaite.

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Underwater meadows

Underwater meadows

Citizens are coming to the rescue of endangered seagrass meadows.

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Reasons to be cheerful

Māori revival; Lighting up the slums; Uncaged beasts

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Regulars.

Letters

Praise, blame and all points in between? Your feedback published in the January/February 2018 magazine.

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The weighted scales of justice

Being on the wrong side of suspicion can have extreme consequences where formal justice systems are not fully functional, realizes Amy Booth on a visit to a prison.

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Clockwise from top left: A billboard celebrating multiculturalism on the main street of the capital, Suva; selling mangoes by the roadside; temporary housing on the outskirts of Suva for Lau islanders who have come to the main island of Viti Levu seeking work; Ape Maleki, a farmer from the village of Vunaniu, tending his cattle; and ‘Frank’ Bainimarama, pictured at the time of the 2006 coup.

Country Profile: Fiji

Inclusive rhetoric by Fiji’s PM is belied by police repression, reports Wame Valentine. And the economy’s in trouble. We profile Fiji today.

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Making Waves: Gina Lopez

The Philippines’ maverick environmentalist fighting the powerful mining industry, speaks with Veronique Mistiaen.

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And finally... Peter Adamson

The founding editor of New Internationalist magazine talks about his subsequent work campaigning with UNICEF – and his latest novel.

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Film, Book & Music Reviews.

Liangzi woos Tao, with the help of  a BMW, in Jia Zhangke’s brilliant Mountains May Depart.

Mixed Media: Film

Mountains May Depart, by Jia Zhangke, and Makala, by Emmanuel Gras are reviewed this month.

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Mixed Media: Music

Swedish artist Fever Ray’s Plunge, and transnational trio Toto Bona Lokua’s feel-good album Bondeko.

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Mixed Media: Books

This month we review The Growth Delusion, by David Pilling; The White City, by Roma Tearne; The Unmapped Country, by Ann Quin; and Old Demons, New Deities, edited by Tenzin Dickie.

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Mixed Media: Best of 2017

What a year! We’re all in need of some light relief – here we pick out the top films, books and music reviewed by New Internationalist in 2017

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