Programme Snapshots | Forever Young
Can you describe your Being Human event(s) in a 140 characters?

Forever Young: Eight decades of youth culture told by people who were there.

Can you tell us a bit about the research that this relates to?

Forever Young’ relates to research conducted in both the Manchester Centre for Regional History, MMU and the newly formed Manchester Centre for Youth Studies, MMU.

The Manchester Centre for Youth Studies (MCYS) at Manchester Metropolitan University, brings together researchers from across the university – including the humanities, social sciences and education – to explore how the meanings, experiences and representations of youth have changed over time. Historically, children and young people have been seen as a source of concern for the media, politicians and academics. MCYS aims to examine the competing conceptualisations of childhood and youth, and provides an opportunity to develop novel perspectives and new approaches to historical and contemporary understandings of the area by encouraging opportunities to compare and contrast trends, regionally, nationally and internationally in a variety of contexts. The Centre comprises academics from across a wide range of disciplines including: Sociology, Criminology, History, Linguistics, English and Education.

What will people learn or experience that they can’t encounter elsewhere?

Forever Young’ is a documentary project, specially commissioned for the ‘Being Human’ Festival. We have interviewed 8 participants, each of whom was a teenager in a different decade, from the 40s to the 21st Century. Each participant has given us their own unique perspective on subjects as far reaching as munition work in WWII, 50s Teddy Boys, 60s and 70s counterculture, 80s soul and 90s trance music and on into contemporary sexual politics and feminism. These perspectives are woven together with archive footage provided by MMU’s North West Film Archive to provide a brand new oral and visual history document. For the live premiere event, we will not only be screening the film, but will also invite the participants to take part in a live panel discussion, led by Manchester legend and youth culture expert Dave Haslam. The audience will then have a chance to engage with the project by asking questions of everyone involved, and contributing their own views on the changing face of youth.

How is this relevant to everyday life?

Forever Young connects to everyone, at every stage of life. Whether one is looking back with fondness or regret, or caught in the immediate whirlwind of youth, every person shares the experience of passing from childhood to being an adult. The documentary and associated discussion will examine whether things have changed or stayed the same through the post-war decades and allow people to examine perspectives other than their own, whether for intellectual interest or just personal curiosity.

And finally, please tell us your 5 favourite things about your location/venue:

The newly refurbished Manchester Central library evokes five adjectives: beautiful, iconic, accessible, historic and friendly.


Forever Young is just one of many activities during Being Human which connects cutting edge research in the humanities to issues shaping our everyday lives. For updates on the latest Being Human news follow us on Twitter @BeingHumanFest, on Facebook, and on Pinterest. Don’t forget to sign up to our e-newsletter too!