‘Portrait of a Nation’ Launched Today

Photo: Six members of the Liverpool, European Capital of Culture 2008 Youth Advisory Group

Teenagers launch national identity debate

Young people across the UK, working with the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Liverpool, European Capital of Culture 2008, today laid down a challenge for their generation to explore, debate and celebrate the impact that their cultural roots have had on their values and sense of identity.

‘Portrait of a Nation’ is a year-long programme of events and online activity that marks the first time that teenagers and young people in 17 cities across the UK, from Inverness to Brighton have been asked to discuss and share where they come from, who they are, and what it means for their future.

From local dialects to fashion, the places they like to hang out or the music they listen to, young people’s lives are shaped by the cultures, places and people in their home town as much as what’s going on in the rest of the country. Portrait of a Nation will ask the teens and young people living in our cities what makes their home town different and special. What is it about their town that Liverpool youngsters value compared with those in Bristol or Belfast? And what do they all have in common?

Throughout the year teenagers will be staging celebratory events to show what makes their city unique through a range of art, performance and heritage projects. They will also be kick-starting the debate online at www.portraitofanation.net , posting blogs, pictures and films, and inviting MPs, celebrities and members of the public to get involved by adding favourite cultural ‘hot spots’ in their home town.


The activity will culminate in December with a finale event at St George’s Hall, Liverpool, where young representatives from each city will come together to put on performances and exhibitions to celebrate what makes their own city special. This showcase will be one of the final events of Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture 2008 celebrations.