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PARTISPACE: Evidence paper 7: Youth cultural centre, Gothenburg

Image is illustrative. Photo by x1klima (Flickr)

“The Centre is one of the most important Youth Cultural Centres in Gothenburg. Since the official start some years ago over 400 youth-initiated activities of various kinds have taken place. The Centre has far-reaching participatory ambitions, ‘by youth….for everyone’ being the main motto. In the 1990’s groups of young people took initiative to form a centrally located youth centre in an old municipal building. In 1998 there was a catastrophic fire in Gothenburg at a youth arranged Halloween party. 63 young people were killed and 200 were injured. This horrendous event is also a part of the history behind the Centre. In the aftermath of the fire, the question about the lack of meeting places became urgent.

The Centre in its present form and place was preceded with a lengthy process and disputes about where to reside, how to govern it and what activities it should be opened for. Today, the centre offers activities that to a large extent are organized by young people themselves and around different themes and forms: movie and media, literature and poetry, theatre and play, dance and movement, images and arts, music, debates and society, design and handicraft and others. All events must be initiated and performed by young people aged 13-30. Employed staff members are there to facilitate the events. Among these there are Young Ambassadors. For one year they work as mediators between young people and the Centre.”

Authors

PARTISPACE

The PARTISPACE project provides empirical knowledge on how to broaden the concepts of participation. The core of this knowledge lies in relating individual biographies of young people and the social spaces in which they act in order to understand the meaning of participation from their perspective.