A group of researchers is driving a retro van around Sudbury, hearing from youth about their challenges, hopes and dreams. It’s part of a collaborative study involving the University of Montreal and the University of Ottawa.

The vehicle is a van converted into mobile radio studio inside. The researchers use that equipment to interview young people (aged 18 to 30) about difficulties they may be facing. They’re especially interested in speaking with those who are unemployed or under-employed.

Each person being interviewed for the project will sit in the van with an interviewer, chatting about anger, hopes and dreams. The purpose of the project is to focus on the voices of young adults who are often overlooked. because they aren’t out voting, or participating in protests. Sometimes their anger is also invisible.

“Young people carry a lot of invisible anger. Young people will vote less. Marginalized young people are not often in the street protests. And finally, what interested us was to collect these words, these invisible revolts, what are the dreams of these young people and what do they tell us about society.”

Cécile Van de Velde, principal researcher Mafalda la Westfalia

The team is using a 1985 Volkswagen Westphalia to travel around Sudbury for the next few weeks before moving on to Toronto and Montreal. The questions many are asking is not whether the study is worthwhile…but whether an ’85 VW Van can make it to Toronto without breaking down. Updates coming soon!

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