The project The Secret began with the Kalmar author, photographer and artist Jan Nordström and his book of the same name - The secret. The book was turned into an exhibition here at the county museum and was also the basis for the collaboration that began between the museum and the Coordination Association in Kalmar County in 2021. Within the framework of this collaboration, a workshop on well-being and mental health was developed, stemming from Jan's book. The workshop's target group was 16–20-year-olds in Kalmar County with problematic school absences, so-called "home sitters" in everyday speech. Through extensive reference group work, a discussion workshop was developed that focused on "everyday mood" and so-called self-leadership, i.e. how to find simple tools to influence your own well-being. In order to work preventively, it was decided that the workshop would be conducted with high school students at schools outside the county.
During the fall of 2022, workshops and talks were held with a total of 590 high school youth around Kalmar County. There were many fruitful conversations about everything from social media, what to do to turn a bad day around, to how to find places that give strength and a much-needed break in a stressful everyday life. The museum's pedagogues got an opportunity to gain an insight into the everyday life of a group that is not always so easy to get to the county museum - our teenagers. The high school students have generously shared their experiences and thoughts about what it's like to be young in Kalmar County in 2022. The result? It IS hard to be young today with the increased demands that come through social media and a rather tough environment shaped by pandemics, conflicts and the current economic situation. But after meeting the students in connection with the workshop, it feels like today's teenagers, with the right support, will become a generation that is very aware of their world, the challenges it faces and at the same time is willing to take on the future with curiosity, warmth and commitment.
The period of the project
September 2021 – December 2022