A project bringing together the young faces and voices of over a hundred sixteen-year olds from different backgrounds in the United Kingdom opens in Manchester today.

Photographer and Salford graduate Craig Easton conceived the project following his engagement with sixteen-year olds at the time of the Scottish Referendum, the first time that these young people were given the vote in the UK.

Building on the success of that work he invited 16 of the UK’s foremost documentary portrait photographers to collaborate with young people across the country to make a visual vox pop on what it means to be sixteen now. 

Working with photography, film, social media, audio recordings and writing, the project brings together more than a hundred young people from diverse communities across the United Kingdom, including Manchester and post-industrial areas of the North, as well as places further afield. 

The photographers open conversations with these young people about their hopes and fears, and who or what sustains them, giving prominence to voices rarely heard and explaining how their social background, personal histories, gender, beliefs, ethnicity, and location all might influence aspiration. 

A selection of photographs from SIXTEEN can also be found at Manchester venues: HOMEManchester Central Library, and 42nd Street’s Horsfall Gallery.

The exhibition then tours to venues nationally, including FORMAT international photography festival, Derby.


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