Orwell's Babies

On the eve of their 21st year, people born in 1984 share their experience of life so far and talk about their hopes for themselves and their world.



"Being 21 will be great! Except, I guess it means I'm closer to 40 than 20"

For some, adulthood is defined by having to buy your own washing powder and not laughing at fart jokes. For others it is a longed for rites of passage which comes with a realisation that your opinion does count. But, on the down side, letters addressed directly to you are more likely to be from the bank than a pen-friend.

02I'll Be There For You.20041228

" Mum say's I'm just like a grown up version of what I was like when I was six, only I'm not so easy to manipulate now"

Is Dad still superman? Does Mum still give the best advice? The physical changes are apparent; the family photos have developed rapidly from parents and dribbling grins to group pictures of smiling adults. But it's the emotional changes that are really coming home to roost. Some feel independent and think one phone call a week is one too many, whilst others couldn't live without a regular family dinner.

03The New Romantics20041229

"You just know don't you? People say the day just looks that much more beautiful and you wake up feeling that much more excited about life don't you?"

First love, first heart break, first time The game of love is all so new. Staying single, getting married, knowing what love is, knowing the difference between too many and too few partners. Some are looking forward to married life and having another child, some are working out the best chat up lines. At 21 the ideal man should be thoughtful, drive a car, and possibly look like a movie star. The ideal woman should just not be so confusing or dump you after two months.

04Dream A Little Dream20041230

"I've got a couple of bench marks I'm not sure what they are but it's safe to say that by 30 I have to have made it".

Jazz musician or mortgage adviser, midwife or model, MP or au-pair, you can be anything want to be. But do you want to be anything in particular? And with university fees on the up and debts mounting, could any dreams really become a reality? Eternal optimism fuels some, whilst cracks have already appeared in some of the twenty-something's dreams.

05 LASTWhat In The World Are We Doing?20041231

"I just think world affairs are... mmm, well I find it difficult cause I don't really understand but I recognise it's not good..."

Next year will be the first time that these 20 year olds will be able to vote in a general election. But deciding what your beliefs are politically, ethically, globally, against a backdrop of 24 hour media, parental bias and friends influence can be like wading through a swamp. Some feel outraged and campaign, while others feel fed up with it all and would rather go out and enjoy life while they can.