Youth designing the future: Media usage and visions of development in the Amazon

The research project "Youth designing the future" centres around how the protection of the Amazon depends highly on the way livelihood is envisaged.

This innovative research will investigate how young inhabitants of Amazon riverside communities consume and produce information to discuss how they build and voice their vision of development. It will analyse the availability of technological resources, how media uses relate to individual and collective goals, and the capacity for managing them. In short, it will explore transmissions of knowledge between youth and adults, the tension between tradition and modern, observing how young people combine different media to imagine and influence the path for the future.

The research includes field research in riverside communities in the Amazon region in the Brazilian and Ecuadorian territory, focusing on the way youth organize their ideas of development, exploring what kind of ideas, inspirations, images guide their actions in search of reaching development. It will use cards to collect information about the daily use of media platforms in the communities, searching information about procedures followed and exchanges made to produce and publish content. It will also involve a combination of conventional ethnography (in the communities) and digital ethnography, in order to follow and make sense of the youth appropriation of media.

The project will be led by Dr Ana Cristina Suzina who was awarded a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship for 36 months starting in November 2020. The research will be conducted in collaboration with local associations already working with youth in the Amazon region.