What’s left for the young?

A sobering realization: I have 11 months left of being young. Well, to be more precise, I have 11 months left until my 16-25 Young Person’s Railcard – a little orange voucher that entitles me to a third off ticket prices on Britain’s dysfunctional railways – expires for good. I recently renewed it for the last time with a sense of wistful dread; I’ll soon be cast out into the world of responsible adulthood.

Or will I? Only a few weeks ago, the rightwing Conservative government, desperate to rally young people flocking to the Labour opposition, announced a pilot scheme: the millennial railcard. This would introduce the same fare discount for people up to the age of 30. Just like that, I felt my youth extend by another five years.

The railcard is a telling development: you know the economy is in dire straits when even 30-year-olds can’t be expected to pay adult rates. It relates to an idea that lingered in my mind as I researched this edition’s Big Story: millennials are trapped in permanent adolescence, locked in a straitjacket of youth.

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Included in this issue

Gina Lopez

Gina Lopez fights Philippine mining

The fiery Filipino environmentalist talks to Veronique Mistiaen.

Social media mental health: The popular social media emoji depicting someone laughing so hard that they are crying. Or is it the other way around?

Laughing and crying online

Social media use is correlated with mental health problems. But is it simply cause and effect? Marcus Gilroy-Ware finds out.

Youth: Arrested development

Arrested Development

What’s left for young people today? Yohann Koshy examines the emergence of ‘millennials’ and the political activism they are...

Youth bulge: A public billboard in Uganda urges young people to have smaller families.

Africa needs to drop the ‘youth bulge’ discourse

Wangui Kimari makes the case that the youth discourse in Africa has patronizing, colonialist tones.

‘People are intolerant towards Dalits speaking up,’ says Ravali Medari, a student activist at the University of Hyderabad.

Kids at work: a Dalit activist

Ravali Medari was moved to take up political activism alongside her academic work. Meena Kandasamy looks at how caste and class...

Jake Edwards is a YouTube vlogger: a uniquely millennial career

Kids at work: a YouTube vlogger

Jake Edwards, a transgender YouTube vlogger, has a uniquely millennial career. Edward Siddons spoke to him to find out more about...

Musa Fata's social media feed shows a life of ease and abundance.

Kids at work: a migrant in Italy

Sophia Seymour and Daisy Squires shine a light on Musa Fata, a Gambian migrant who hopes to become a world-famous DJ.

Tbilisi

No room for dissidents in Georgia and Azerbaijan

Georgia was once hailed as a ‘beacon of democracy’, but geopolitics have taken priority over human rights, writes Onnik...

FeesMustFall: Protesters celebrate the removal of a statue of Cecil Rhodes from the University of Cape Town.

Over the rainbow: South Africa’s young radicals

South Africa’s first post-apartheid generation has come of age. And they’re not happy with the way the ANC are handling things....

Young girls in Malaysia are finding a safe space in social media networks.

A group of one’s own

For young girls across the Muslim world, social media has become a therapeutic medium. Hussein Kesvani reports.

Bolivian prisons

The weighted scales of justice

Amy Booth visits a Bolivian prison and meets those let down by patchy law enforcement.

Old Demons, New Deities

Our January book picks

This issue’s reviews include The Growth Delusion, by David Pilling and The White City, by Roma Tearne.

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