portrait of a nation

“Stop slagging us off!" That was the plea from 400 young people as revealed at Portrait of a Nation, the biggest youth summit of its kind. Other issues raised were 'how do young people want the UK to be portrayed as a nation in 2012?' and 'how can we stop knife crime and gang rivalry being a part of youth culture?'

The Youth Summit debate challenged 3,000 young people from 17 cities across the UK to explore who they are, where they come from and their hopes for the future. Strange Cargo worked with over 200 young people from across the Canterbury district to explore issues relating to their life and their position in the community. A group of these young people then made the trip to Liverpool for the finale event.

The project included the creation of The Canterbury Giant, shaped by Canterbury teenagers to represent the city. A focus on issues related to young people and public space, saw park benches redesigned in Pimp My Bench. And finally, artworks from the Beaney Collection were transcribed to explore the place of young people in the city.


Commissioned by Canterbury City Council. Finale event was organised by Liverpool Culture Company, Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), as part of the European Capital of Culture celebrations.

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