string(4) "news" Teen Spirit: Here and Now — Docudays UA International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival

Teen Spirit: Here and Now

04 February 2020

About this year’s Festival Concept


The 17th Docudays UA is about adolescence. It is a time when you respond to reality sensitively and acutely, when you reconsider and articulate your views, when you learn to be independent. However, for us, it’s an opportunity to look at adolescence not only from a personal perspective. In the context of government policies, we propose to learn to understand children’s rights and see how the voices of young people can be heard loud and clear in discussions of social issues.


As we prepared for the Festival throughout the year, we studied the differences in the treatment of children in Ukraine and other countries. Ukraine defines protecting childhood as its strategic priority. That is, a child is viewed as an object of protection, not as an agent with rights, which is reflected in the legislation and government policies.


Meanwhile, many countries in the world don’t question the participation of children in state politics. The newest example is the environmental movement of teenagers: everyone remembers Greta Thunberg’s speech at the UN General Assembly. In Ukraine, however, we continue to be limited to simply protecting childhood. While children’s peaceful environmental protests in European countries affect the agendas of these countries’ governments, here in Ukraine, it is all about banning the use of children in political action. At the same time, our government only reacts to children’s rights challenges caused by the armed conflict on an ad hoc basis.


2019 was the twentieth anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. With this international agreement, the United Nations agreed to empower children. Since it joined the Convention, Ukraine must comply with it. We want to promote actual inclusion of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in our government’s agenda.


We hope that this year’s programme of Docudays UA, the discussions involving experts will allow us to understand at a deeper level how the government can ensure children’s rights in the situation of an armed conflict, how it can counteract violence against and exploitation of children, realize the right to education and development for children who belong to discriminated groups, and empower children in Ukraine.


About the Festival’s Image


We’ve chosen chewing gum as the image of Docudays UA 2020.


It’s colorful, sweet and tempting – an embodiment of pure pleasure when you’re a teenager. It comes to the rescue when you need to do something with your excess energy or simply look more confident in the eyes of your peers. You can briefly hide from the world’s dangers behind a blown-up bubble. You can even use it as a tool of protest when you need to demonstrate disagreement. It’s an innocent habit which loses its charm as a person grows up.


People born in the 2000s are called Generation Z. These are people who demand to be treated as equals. They live in the technology of the future. They care about personal branding, but couldn’t care less about work experience or climbing the career ladder. The majority of them learn quickly, eat healthy, and profess digital detoxes. They amaze the world with their music, rebellion, startups, environmental awareness. What else do we know about them? What points of intersection do we have with contemporary teenagers? What can we learn from them?


Teen Spirit, on big screens, here and now!

April 2021