Introducing: "Kids Control"

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The “Kids Control” research group’s primary objective is to make visible and to critically engage with current practices of control, surveillance and punishment of urban youth’s “deviant” and “anti-social” behaviour. A second focus will be on the “targeted” groups’ reactions, their strategies of appropriation, resistance and self-regulation in Germany and the UK.

While the focal point and centre of the project will be an exhibition, the forms of documentation, discussion and intervention we aim at are manifold. The exhibition will be framed by various critical ways of engaging with the topic, including a workshop and a lecture series.

By looking at the current state of affairs in British society and reflecting on possible future trends in Germany, the project aims at provoking critical awareness and stimulating critical thought. Debates on “right” and “wrong” childhoods, violence at schools, on “problem families”, open and confined practices in the juvenile penal system are already leaving their marks in German society.

Our approach aims at bringing possibilities of an alternative and “deviant” way of writing a “history of the present” to the surface. We deliberately chose to apply a comparative perspective in order to trace both similarities and differences in dominant narratives about the “state of affairs/our youth).”

We strongly hope to challenge those ways of thinking which guide us towards the future on a track that appears both logical and unavoidable. We aim at tearing apart the logic of “necessities”, which we have to encounter in policies, programmes and those who claim to have “expert knowledge”.