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 lockdown in, 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

Spoken Word & Poetry Competition

An online poetry and spoken word competition for young people inviting young people to explore how they feel about coronavirus and lockdown. Winning entries will be included in the digital time capsule, and we have a laptop as a first prize.

Short Documentary Challenge

A film-making challenge inspired by Tiktok-style films inviting young people to show how coronavirus and lockdown has changed how they live. Winning entries will be included in the digital time capsule, and we have a laptop as a first prize.

Lockdown Minecraft 


 An online Minecraft exercise where young people are invited to build their dream lockdown situation. Winning entries will be included in the digital time capsule, and we have a laptop as a first prize.




 Drawing on poems, spoken word audios, short documentary films, and Minecraft worlds, we hope to illustrate young people's stories and voices in a digital time capsule. 

Upcoming activities & events  

Future Streets Workshop
IntoUniversity, Keyworth Primary School

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: