In March 2014, the Institute hosted The 19th Birthday Party, a media art installation that explores issues relating to youth transitioning out of government care at age 19 and youth homelessness.
Former youth in care currently comprise 40 per cent of homeless youth in British Columbia. Many young adults transitioning out of care face challenges such as finding a job and accommodation for the first time.
The 19th Birthday Party situates the viewer at the table of a birthday party where each offering is a digital story produced by youth who have experienced government care or homelessness.
“The fragility, as well as the resilience and insight, of these youth is communicated powerfully, in their own words,” said Professor Margot Young, UBC Law Professor and Co-Principal Investigator of the Wall Solutions Initiative’s Housing Justice Project. “This installation puts ‘on the table’ a clear call for justice and for care, the implications of which clearly speak to housing issues but also touch on so much more of what we must, but fail to, provide the most vulnerable youth among us.”
The installation was produced as a community engaged art project by the Housing Media Matters Project, in partnership with the Vancouver Foundation’s Youth and Homelessness Initiative, Canada Council for the Arts, the British Columbia Art Council and the Peter Wall Solutions Initiative's Housing Justice Project.