It’s an acknowledged truth that young people have their own cultures, lifestyles and attitudes. They are constantly connected on social media, creating and sharing their own cultures.
As kids navigate the period of adolescence and young adulthood, youth culture, according to the Guardian, is the outcome. As they seek community, they go through a period rich in self-expression.
This is why Chinese director Zhu Lexian has tapped into youth trends, bringing out an eight-episode documentary series titled Generational Gravity. It premiered on Nov 28.
Featuring young people from 11 countries, the documentary has four key subjects of interest to the global young generation – street culture, beauty and makeup, hairstyles and party culture. It targets, in general, those who were born after 1990 and after 2000 in particular.
纪录片聚焦于来自十一个国家的年轻人，讲述了全球年轻一代感兴趣的四大话题 —— 街头文化、美妆、发型以及派对文化。总体而言，该纪录片的目标受众为90后，尤其是00后。
“We’ve noticed that more and more young people, despite different cultural backgrounds, embrace and share similar lifestyles,” Zhu said. “We want to put those people on screen to speak for their generation.”
The Chinese singer-songwriter Liu Boxin, who rose to fame last year on the variety show Rap of China, was featured in the episodes. The 20-year-old flew to Jamaica to explore the appeal of dreadlocks, which are universally identified with the Caribbean island nation and reggae culture.
The young people she met there were warm and friendly. “We went to a party, which was held in a shabby garage. We danced with local people and I also sang together with local reggae musicians,” she said. “Despite cultural differences, we shared fun moments together.”
Sun Yu, director of the documentary’s first two episodes, also grew up listening to hip-hop music and developed a thorough understanding of street culture. He loves wearing loose pants, sneakers and hoodies like any other trendy young person. “You can see lots of young people in Los Angeles lean against the walls and snap photos of their outfits to post on social media while waiting for hours outside the shops to buy clothes. It’s a scene that you could also see in Beijing,” he said. “It’s an inevitable evolution of the world, having a new generation of young people declaring their identity and living a lifestyle through street culture.”
No matter their cultural background, young people around the world share the desire to express themselves.