26. 03. 2018
Voices from 2028: Emma Richardson
Four creative young people shared a letter from the future with the Country Arts SA whole of staff gathering in February, 2018.
This letter is from Emma Richardson.
Emma Richardson is an emerging writer, artist and aspiring film-maker. She is a founding and current member of Kids Against Humanity with Carclew and City of Onkaparinga. Emma lives in the outer southern suburbs/regional edges of Adelaide.
Dear decision makers, artists, organisations, leaders and influencers
The purpose of art has no one definition. Art is meant to entertain, evoke emotion, inspire change and ignite the passion of creation in all those who view it. Art is a weapon, powerful and effective. It can change the minds of an entire collective of people. In a world such as ours, art is the one resource we will never be in short supply of. I myself have been involved with projects that intended to do just that; change minds, educate and communicate in new and exciting ways.
So if art inspires change in the world, who inspires the art?
The young people who live in that world. The young people who will have to grow old in that world. They can see, very clearly what kind of place they will be subjected to if nothing is done. Corrupt leaders, dying forests, lack of enthusiasm for the things in life that matter. These things not only threaten our very existence, but our love of life. We want to live in a world we can feel proud to live in. And we hope that through art we can accomplish that.
Unfortunately, art is not always enough to convey such important messages. We need young people, from all walks of life in leadership positions. We desperately need young leaders. Not only to bridge the gap that art only begins to fill, but to reach the ears of those in power. The ones who make decisions that will affect our futures and our livelihoods. We need our young leaders to speak up loud and convey our messages.
In 2017 myself and a group of like minded young people set out to educate, inspire and connect with a small community of people using an interactive medium. It was fun and interesting and thought provoking. I wish I could have seen or even heard of projects similar to ours when I was younger, when I thought art was only something to hang on your wall. Not something that could change the way an entire generation views the world around them.
I know now, just how powerful art and especially art made by young people, can be. I was lucky enough to have many amazing opportunities handed to me, and I will forever be grateful to the people and organisations that allowed me to grow as a person and artist.
Despite the great efforts of those organisations, there are still so many talented, wise and hopeful youths that are not being reached. Whether it is a matter of region, education or lack of incentive to be apart of something, I don’t know. But I wish there had been alternate efforts made to include these people, because if they had been included ten years ago, if they had been given a platform to speak, lead and learn, we could have been living in a very different world today.
When we speak of the future, it sounds distant. So the phrase ‘we have time’ is one I often hear. The fact is, we don’t have time. Tomorrow is the future, as is next week. We are living the future. Ten years ago we heard ‘we have time’, we cannot wait another ten years to do what young people have been pushing for, for decades.
Change. Inclusion. Opportunity.. Young people need to be allowed and encouraged to make art. Art that will inspire and unite. And they need to be accompanied by passionate young leaders, who will forge a path for their voices to be heard.We say young people are the future, but that’s not all. Young people are the past, the present, and the key to change, they only need to be heard.
With hope, good wishes and all the best, from Emma Richardson 2028
IMAGE: Emma (left) with Grace Billinghurst behind the scenes of Losing Faith in Unicorns. Photo by Alysha Herrmann.