Unlimited youth. Pre-pubescent, pubescent and post-pubescent, all at the same time, all your life. Without worries, full of worries, real worries, all at the same time. The process of growing up is confusing. Being an adult is no better. At least not today. In the past, somehow the future was still foreseeable, maybe. These days, the future may take long. So many movies, stories, books and motifs suggesting possible futures. The images that float in the mind, half-imaginary, half-real, become more and more blurred by repeated narratives, until only arbitrary assertions of youth remain before the eyes. All of them are arguably possible. The more difficult it is to anticipate and capture their shape, the more unclear the plans, the more worrysome the uncertainty.
Coming-of-age is a well-known genre. Perhaps it becomes a lifestyle, beyond the actual duration of the phase of coming-of-age. The protagonists of youth are posing in apocalyptic scenarios. Apocalyptic scenarios accompany daily life. So please, how is growing up, how is coming-of-age supposed to take place? A short phase of supposed physical intactness, at the height of strength and energy, something akin to economic autonomy and all the rights of legal age, before the duties and worries of everyday life and physical frailties – large and small – take their psychological toll. No, because the world that partially defines who we are and how we become is itself in a process of coming-of-age that affects everyone and makes all scenarios – especially the intimidating ones – seem equally likely. In other words, it‘s getting serious. It‘s time to grow up. It has to be.
Text: unanimous consent
Translation: unanimous consent
Noemi Pfister, *1991 in Ticino, lives and works in Basel