In line with the BIG IDEAS theme and the question ‘what is art?’ and
‘what is not art?’
During our Youth Day celebrations I was asked to address a group of
juvenile offenders in the juvenile section of the local correctional
facility. These are all kids who either have been found guilty of
violent crimes, or awaiting trial for the same. So they were not your
boy next door types but kids from seriously dysfunctional backgrounds.
Their ages went from 14 to 17.
The theme I chose was “What is culture and what has it got to do with
Some of the kids were just not interested, but I could see by the
attention they paid that for some of them it was a light bulb moment. I
got some surprising questions and some equally surprising comments.
We use words that we assume youngsters know what we are talking about,
but I think just as much as we underestimate them sometimes, we also
tend to make too many assumptions about their understanding of what we