How can we get more young people engaged in politics?

How can we get more young people engaged in politics?

Rhia Cook

“Political Softies” are a series of hand-sized, interactive textile cushions designed with the aim of engaging more young people in politics. Digitally printed fabrics have been embellished with embroidery and flocking to create a tactile collection of 3D faces, designed for interaction.

The topic of politics is often a difficult one to bring up, especially for younger generations. Disinterest, a lack of evidence that their voices are listened to and a lack of knowledge about the political system makes it easy for many young people to ignore the issue altogether. But engaging more young people in politics is vital for getting our voices heard by those who shape society.

The selection of faces use humour as a catalyst for engagement. By creating these squishy effigies of Nicola Sturgeon and Jeremy Corbyn, it changes the tone of politics from serious to silly very quickly. The pieces ask viewers to interact with politicians in a way that many would not usually do, filling out information about them. Participants get to decide the focus and personality of the political figure through the comment cards, which disguise important political issues as jokey questions.

The work is designed to make you laugh, then make you participate.


The John Byrne Award