Is this a dystopian world we are living in?

It was a dark cold day in November, and the clocks were striking 19h00…

This sentence may sound familiar to you. If it does, is not a mistake. It’s an almost complete copy of the 1st sentence of 1984, the infamous dystopia by George Orwell.
This was also the beginning of Dystopiality, the youth exchange that brought together 34 youngsters, between the ages of 16 and 21, to Bystrzyca Kłodzka, Poland.

Dystopiality allowed all of us to know more about the realities of Poland, Kosovo, Armenia, Italy, Portugal, and Georgia, and it stroked us that even if from different places, with different cultures, and stories of our own, we all shared concerns, worries and opinions about the world we are living in and nowadays society.


But what can a young person do to change society for the better?

Is there any change for the better needed?


Some might say that the world was never a better place than it is nowadays, many others may say that we are walking toward extinction. What do you think?

The goal of Dystopiality was indeed, to bring young people together and allow the discussion of the society of nowadays: the chances, the problems, the freedom, the contradictions, the lies.

For 6 days, between the 21st and 26th of November 2022, there were different activities carried out: the group had the chance to visit Bystrzyca Kłodzka more than once, go to a cinema session in the house of culture, lead a debate in a high school, or play with local landmarks in a city game; and visit Kłodzko, for an interview with locals, and for some sightseeing as well. But not only. There were many discussions: on the topic of dystopia, on the current situation of each country, on the environmental issue, on the rating systems, on the control of culture and access to it, on the influence of digitalization and the massive presence of the online world… There was the screening of different series and documentaries, and role play and storytelling. There was music and poetry, and there were games and fun.

And 34 people were bonding despite or thanks to their cultural diversity. There were intercultural evenings with snacks, songs, and with dances. There were stories and conversations, discussions about languages and alphabets, and, of course, the eternal discussion on the correct way of cooking pasta! 🙂

At the end of the youth exchange, we didn’t find many answers, but we did raise a lot of questions, and a new awareness about what surrounds us, our role in the society we are part of, the value of freedom and tolerance, the fundamental importance of questioning, of critical thinking, emerged.

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”
― George Orwell, 1984

Now that you know about our week, we will also supply you with some usefull data collected from all the participants of the Youth Exchange (the sample universe of this statistics).


There are many reasons to surf on the internet, more exactly:

  • Social Media scroll/post 96.3% 96.3%
  • Watching videos 77.8% 77.8%
  • Watch/Read news 59.3% 59.3%
  • Listen to music 88.9% 88.9%
  • Meeting people 51.9% 51.9%
  • Speaking with friends 88.9% 88.9%
  • Study/Work 96.3% 96.3%
  • For new information 3.7% 3.7%


Do you remember MIRC? Or hi5? Probably not. Here are nowadays preferences:

  • Instagram 96.3% 96.3%
  • Facebook 66.7% 66.7%
  • Twitter 37% 37%
  • Whatsapp 85.2% 85.2%
  • Youtube 81.5% 81.5%
  • Snapchat 44.4% 44.4%
  • Reddit, Discord, Twitch, Bereal, Steam 3.7% 3.7%


Do you ever think about the amount of time do you spend online? In a 24h day in which 8h you are sleeping, how much of your time you’re looking to the screen?!




3 - 5h


5 - 10h

Will this video show you everything…?!

An album, a collection of moments, a mix of emotions or just a different reality?




Participants of Dystopiality might have an answer… or maybe not! But do we always have an exact answer for everything? Are things exactly like they are shown? Do we see what we see or do we see what we want to see?


What do participants say?

After all our activities in EFM, we always ask our participants opinion. This feedback is fundamental for our work as it gives us the way to improve and develop what we do. It also answers to many questions that pop-up every now and then. Here you can read a few:

“All the activities were very fun and engaging, so i enjoyed every second!”

Youth Exchange Participant

“I’m aware of more things now and I see the possible outcome if i don’t start by changing my behavior.”

Youth Exchange Participant

“I developed my communication, time management, intercultural awareness skills. I also became more independent and confident.”

Youth Exchange Participant

“I can’t say I’ve taken certain/specif pieces of knowledge. I’d rather mention the importance of raising the questions we already know exist and create a space where we can collectively brainstorm.”

Youth Exchange Participant

“Actually we need to have a look of the invisible problems of our society because when we don’t we get used to them and keep adopting to those instead of solving them.”

Youth Exchange Participant

“Bering a participant of this program made me think of our world and life, our actions for our environment. \it turned out that I have some questions and requirements to know more about the topics and issues related to “Dystopiality”.”

Youth Exchange Participant

What about YOU?!

Were you ever in a Youth Exchange? Do you ever wonder about the realities in countries different than yours? Do you and your friends ever engage in conversations regarding nowadays issues? Do you ever question yourself about things like… “Dystopia”?