What is it like to be a 16-year old in this complex, confusing, digital modern world? It is really worrying to think that it is virtually half a century since I was at that critical and confusing age, one where you can get married, and you could have voted in Scotland, but not in England. It is an age where you move from youth to adulthood, but adults have not themselves decided how much responsibility to give 16 year olds.
At the time of the last Scottish Independence Referendum, when 16-year olds were given the vote for the first (and only) time in the UK, photographer Craig Easton invited other leading photographers to join in his photographic project SIXTEEN, now on show near Tower Bridge and in two South London galleries, recording along with the images, the hopes, the concerns and the aspirations of a wide range of 16-year olds from all across the UK.
These young people are the future of the country. How often do our middle-aged political leaders listen to what they are saying, to what young people see as important to achieve their own dreams and the future success of their communities?