Cléo: “Swiss politics? It’s a huge muddle for such a little country.”
Voting at 16? Yes, I’d do that. But you need to be able to look at the wider picture, and not all young people have a clear enough vision of the world for that. That said, there are a lot of votes held on subjects which concern young people more than the old. For the climate, having the right to vote at 16 would be useful. The same for pesticides. This theme was really prominent on social media. We would have had enough information to vote. The disadvantage would perhaps be that it pushes young people to grow up into the adult world too quickly.
Swiss politics? I don’t understand a lot of it. It’s a huge muddle for such a little country, with the three levels of political decisions. Out of the leaders, I know the name of Alain Berset, who has been very much to the fore in recent months. I’ve also heard a lot about the Maudet affair at home, but I didn’t really understand the implications and I haven’t read anything neutral about it. So I don’t have an opinion on that topic. I don’t look at the media a lot, apart from the articles that we read at school to learn how to debate. We did this on the topic of purchasing fighter planes, for example. I use Instagram a lot; I follow content creators.
My hopes for the world? First of all, I’d like the virus to stop! Then there is the question of global warming. The need to act is urgent, but it’s not too late. I marched for that. The authorities need to organise the energy transition. My personal dreams are focused on classical music, which I’ve been learning to play since I was little. Learning an instrument is athe preserve of a certain social class. I would like more disadvantaged people to be able to have this opportunity as well. Music will be a part of my life as an adult. I’ll live in town and I’ll have children. Those are the things I want most. As for my fears, I worry about the climate getting out of balance. That’s frightening. Artificial intelligence also perhaps represents a danger to human employment. We live in a time where job security is no longer guaranteed.
*2005, is in her first year of high school in Geneva, in a class with a music option. She plays classical piano and dances.
The portraits of all 16 young people interviewed
- Anne: “I have the vote, so I want to use it”
- Jason: “I am a keen, effective, quick-witted debater”
- Johanna: “We could use our voice to do more against climate change”
- Kimmo: “I would like to sail around the world”
- Juliette: “The decisions that are made do affect the lives of young Swiss citizens”
- Lionel: “We need to create spaces for young people.”
- Yves: “I give my all playing football”
- Moritz: “I take responsibility for my decisions”
- Malin: “Missing a few hours of classroom time is a trifling matter in view of the climate crisis we face”
- Cléo: “Swiss politics? It’s a huge muddle for such a little country.”
- Olivia: “I want to add my voice to the fight against inequality”
- Noelia: “Sitting around at home is not really my thing”
- Lisa: “After all, it is our future at stake”
- Dejwana: “Switzerland? It’s better than Lebanon, where we struggled to be accepted”
- Elena: “I always try to form my own opinion”
- Valérie: “We should start with the little things in our own lives first”