Using objects is common in memory studies and material culture studies but less so when researching youth. I wanted to use objects to not only talk about memories but also about projection; about the future. For this I asked participants to bring two objects to the interview, more specifically to ‘bring a thing that reminds you of the past and a thing that you relate to your future’. In the interviews, I then asked participants to describe the object and what it reminds them of and means for them.

This task was theoretically inspired by Sarah Ahmed’s work on ‘happy objects’ (Ahmed 2010). Ahmed argue that we invest emotions in objects and that ‘we are moved by things’ (Ahmed 2010, p. 33). I am curious to see how my participants invest emotionally in objects around them and what this tells about how they relate to their past as well as to the future.

Ballet-slipper keychain brought by a participant
P-plate brought by a participant

Photo by Malte Wingen on Unsplash

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