Young people are moving and what do we do?

25 April 2018 Freepik

"We are a traveling species. We have no property, but luggage. (...)
We are alive because we are moving. We are never still.
We are transhumant (...) If you want something to die, leave it alone."

(Jorge Drexler, Movimiento, 2017)


Young people always move towards unprecedented possibilities, unsuspected futures. But beyond physical mobility and territorial displacement, young people show a great capacity for flux or change and mobilization in current societies, strengthened by new communication technologies, and networks.

Social mobility, the kind that belongs to the street and the network, public squares and devices, in face-to-face contact with other young people or through a #hastag, do not admit entry to the strictly dual vision of adult generations, closed as it is between rails and duality: soul and body, real and virtual, objective and subjective, substance and accident. Young people are configuring a new map in the territory, of both their physical movements and of the network, with the creation of new codes, new languages ​​and new aesthetics. Certainly as educators, we must consider a new language to think about "youth mobility" because we are used to understanding them in terms of physical presence, underestimating the virtual as if it were not real. For young people, instead, there is no limit or confines between this double presence, physical or virtual, but it is a single space/time that intertwines technological devices with the organization of the encounter, the meeting, and is an exchange without distinction of the modes of presence, or being present.

We must consider the mobility of young people in relation to the stability of the institutions. Institutions such as ours must accompany the youth movement or enter into an unprecedented decline (as can already be perceived). Above all, we should give form to and implement proposals that bear in mind and incorporate the emotional and the affective, the new youth grammars and the changing of codes; not only the rational and the norms, belonging and identity, proposals and answers, our structures and our organizations.

In order to carry out this exercise of change of language and of institutions, the ability to look to the future is required: it is not possible to let youth experience be linked to models of anachronistic institutions, bent on old securities or anchored to the nostalgia of times that may have been glorious, but have long passed. Young people urgently need proposals that integrate emotional and affective components, including the various forms of youth protest and rebellion.


A Salesian educator for these new times is a person who, like Don Bosco, is not afraid to face these situations of uncertainty and movement, and is always attentive to listening to the concerns of the young, their questions and their forms of expression.

The new realities of youth dislocation challenge the charism and the institutions. If 


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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