Dystopia Now

A research project based at King’s College London understanding how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected young people’s lives and their hopes and dreams for the future

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

Visit our Time Capsule illustrating young people's stories, experiences and voices about the pandemic.

Read how coronavirus and lockdown have changed young people's lives in our poetry anthology. 


Dream Lockdown Minecraft 

 Explore our dream lockdown  neighbourhood young people built in Minecraft.


Dystopia Now Film

Watch how COVID-19 has changed how these young filmmakers live.