From the Wall Institute news feed on March 5, 2014:
“The Institute is pleased to be hosting The 19th Birthday Party, a media art installation that explores issues relating to youth transitioning out of government care at age 19 and youth homelessness.
Former youth in care currently comprise 40% of homeless youth in British Columbia. Many young adults transitioning out of care face challenges such as finding a job and accommodation for the first time.
The 19th Birthday Party situates the viewer at the table of a birthday party where each offering is a digital story produced by youth who have experienced government care or homelessness.
“The fragility, as well as the resilience and insight, of these youth is communicated powerfully, in their own words,” says Professor Margot Young, UBC Law Professor and Co-Principal Investigator of the Wall Solutions Initiative’s Housing Justice Project. “This installation puts ‘on the table’ a clear call for justice and for care, the implications of which clearly speak to housing issues but also touch on so much more of what we must, but fail to, provide the most vulnerable youth among us.”
The installation is intended to challenge the viewer to reflect on the realities of aging out of care at age 19 and to provoke an understanding in the greater public for the need to extend the age of ‘aging out’ from age 19 to 23.
According to the Fostering Change Report, produced by the Vancouver Foundation’s Youth and Homelessness Initiative, the vision is to ensure that youth leaving foster care have the support they need to successfully transition into the adulthood.
“We want doorways opened, not closed, to support youth aging out of foster care to pursue housing, employment, education, health, financial capability, social networks and permanent relationships,” reads the report.
On Monday, March 24, 2014 at 1:00 pm, the Institute invites the public and the UBC community to attend the launch of the installation at the Institute, which will include a short presentation and will allow guests to experience the installation. Coffee, tea and cake will be served.
The installation will be open to the public from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday, March 24, 2014 – April 4, 2014 on the second floor Scholar’s Lounge.
The installation was produced as a community engaged art project by the Housing Media Matters Project, in partnership with the Vancouver Foundation’s Youth and Homelessness Initiative, Canada Council for the Arts, the British Columbia Art Council and the Peter Wall Solutions Initiative‘s Housing Justice Project.”