A research project based at King’s College London examining young people's experiences and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic

The project


As researchers working at King’s College London, we have spent the last six months building community links in order to work with young people to capture their utopian and dystopian visions for a future with technology and health.

With the Covid-19 outbreak, a medical dystopia has suddenly leapt right into the centre of our lives. The fights over face masks that young people at Theatre Peckham jokingly predicted in February half term have become real.

We have been speaking to parents and community organisers who are already deeply concerned about the short and long-term effects of Covid-19 on the physical and mental health of young people.

Social distancing and self-isolation are undoubtedly life-saving responses to slow corona’s spread. But these measures are likely to have significant impacts on young people’s lives in Lambeth and Southwark.

Through a series of collaborative arts-based workshops and activities, we would like to invite young people to explore how they are experiencing and coping with the pandemic, and how it is changing their hopes and fears for the future.

Responding to their concerns, we will be able to identify and share how young people can be best supported during and after the pandemic with key stakeholders such as local government, schools and health services.

To make sure we’re doing as much as possible to understand and support young people in Southwark and Lambeth, the Utopia Now team is collaborating with the REACH study, a mental health research programme working with young people.

This project has been funded by The Maudsley Charity

'This is the Year'

 Poetry Competition 

 In collaboration with Theatre Peckham, we want you to explore how you feel about coronavirus and lockdown through poetry and spoken word. Enter our competition and join us for an exclusive workshop with poet Belinda Zhawi.  Prizes include a laptop!

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'Day in a life of Corona' Documentary

Film Challenge

Show how coronavirus and lockdown has changed how you live by making a short documentary film on one particular day. Your clips will edited together to make a documentary.

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'Dream Lockdown'



 If we had to do lockdown all over again, where would you want to spend it? Build your dream lockdown neighbourhood ith us  in Minecraft!

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 Young artists taking part in the Dystopia Now activities will be invited to contribute to our digital Time Capsule illustrating young people's stories and voices. We hope to share how life can be made better for you. 

Coming soon!

Upcoming activities & events  

  • Launch of Life in a day of Corona: Documentary Film Challenge
    05 Dec 2020, 00:01 – 20 Dec 2020, 23:59
    Calling young filmmakers aged 16-19 to pick up your cameras and help us make a documentary! 
  • This is the Year: Poetry and Spoken Word Workshop
    30 Nov 2020, 17:00 – 18:30
    Calling poets and spoken word artists aged 11-16 with a story to tell about Coronavirus and life in lockdown! Join us for an exclusive online workshop with poet Belinda Zhawi
  • Dream Lockdown: Minecraft Competition
    20 Nov 2020, 00:01 – 20 Dec 2020, 23:59
    Build your dream lockdown neighbourhood in Minecraft and be in with a chance to win a laptop!  
  • This is the Year: Poetry and Spoken Word Competition
    16 Nov 2020, 00:01 – 18 Dec 2020, 23:59
    Calling poets and spoken word artists aged 11-16 with a story to tell about Coronavirus and life in lockdown!  

News & Updates



Email: utopia-now@kcl.ac.uk 

Phone: 07587527416 

Address: School of Population Health & Environmental Sciences

King’s College London  

5th Floor, Addison House,  
Guy’s Campus, London, SE1 1UL 

We are funded by: