As the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman would have said: we built a liquid society where we live a liquid life, ‘a precarious life, lived under conditions of constant uncertainty’ and ‘a succession of new beginnings’. (Liquid life 2005)
My work Millennials’ Insights is an open and ongoing project – started in 2019 – on how the ‘liquid’ outside world – and its several different social dynamics and issues – affects the inner world of my peers, my generation, the youngest workforce that faces and tries to build a future – the Millennials.
Nowadays, the topic of boundaries deeply influences the discussion on the future, and boundaries – in their broad meaning – become the metaphor of our uncertainties and challenges. We are boundaries between in and out which mutually affect one the other and change as fast as society does. However, we are not always aware of this. The project aims to be a documentation and a storytelling of this peculiar intertwining and its possible outcomes.
So, as a starting point, I met some European Millennials on the threshold between their inner world and the outside and, thanks to photography, we crossed together the line towards the inside. I interviewed them about their lives, routines, aspirations, thoughts about contemporary issues, listening to their language and introspections which allowed to create different metaphoric representations through their personal performances. The idea was to portray them in their own spaces using everyday concealing/revealing props symbolically.
They bared themselves – not only psychologically, but also physically – in order to expose nudity as brazenness of the states of mind, as the last boundary between the outside and the inside.
The work has a strong collaborative feature. In fact, it was very important that each person could think about a rough idea on how to represent certain states of mind and moods regarding the relationship inside-outside, intimacy-society. They decided which objects to use and which spaces they wanted to occupy. The whole process was a sort of journey that we shared.
Before the photo shoot I asked everybody the same questions. The pictures’ captions are statements taken from their own reflections and considerations: due to its introspective feature, the work sees the image and the thought behind it deeply intertwined.
I believe we are witnessing a historical moment where the high frequency in sharing and digitally communicating is often taking us further away from our intimacy and introspection. The project Millennials’ Insights aims to be a response to this and a visible voice of a part of a generation.
(Please note that if you are seeing the pictures on a pc you can click on the small thumbnails to view a bigger version)
“We have to learn how to live with balance. We will get used to uncertainty and precariousness and will understand that there are also advantages.”
“When I want a bit of nature, of soil, of life, I have to put my feet into vases, or…nothing.”
“I think we developed a peculiar intelligence to manage the uncertainty.”
“I feel good into myself, yet I want to get out, but I can’t. I want some peace.”
“All at once. The outside invades always my spaces and myself: we become chaotic, yet welcoming.”
“The rules knock me down. I want to derail but my own self is there to block me.”
“I feel we are moving stupidly backwards. We will find a way out.”
“I’m uprooted. My home, my place and my role are everywhere and nowhere.”
“Sometimes, I feel one step behind. Yet, I own my time.”
“We must cultivate good seeds. We must stop thinking individually. It’s our turn.”
“I don’t know how the contemporary society affects me…that’s the real problem. I’m stuck.”
“Hiding behind the idea that the historical moment doesn’t allow us to realize ourselves is an excuse. However, I’m currently doing my main job for free.”
“The outside world pushes me to look for myself, but I’m afraid to find it.”
“I feel more real when I see things from another perspective.”
“I’m postponing a lot, especially good things.”
“Quiet allows me to be at my best.”
“Everything is temporary, yet simple things make me feel that my home is ready to welcome me.”
“We became unresponsive.”
“Consuming life. The ego is satisfied, but social consequences are destructive.”
“If they put you in a round bottle you have to become round, if they put you in a square bottle you have to become square.”
“I love what I want to do, who I want to be, I wouldn’t want to quit.”
“I think I’m not an example to follow.”
“We were born into the uncertainty, we know nothing different. Relationships, private spaces are reinvigorations.”
“Contemporary society demands a multitasking attitude.”
“Future is now empty, but anything can happen. It is scaring and exciting. The edge is ephemeral, soft, transparent.”