The Suspended Youth is a series of portraits of young Italian athletes, set in their homes, forced to give up school (in presence) and their sport activities.

An unpredictable condition, if we consider that after the end of the lock down since last spring, the beginning of the summer had brought moment of apparent normality , that we would define today as “misleading normality”. The new restrictions caused by the increase of the infection covid-19 of last autumn, the return of the DAD (Distance learning ) and the closure of the several sports club made all the teenagers weaker, sadder and more incredulous.

Locked in for months, children live their life in the shadow of tablets and smartphones.

Nobody talks about the drop in their school performance, their weight increase, about their enthusiasm and happiness that fade away with the lack of daily contact with their schoolmates, their friends, spending more and more time on social networks although being under 14.    

Actually the reality appears much more tragic than these considerations. Some days ago, Prof. Stefano Vicari, Head physician of child neuropsychiatry unit in Bambino Gesù hospital in Rome, declared in an interview, that two of the main consequences of the lockdown and consequent loneliness of teenagers have been, increasing acts of self-harms among teenagers but especially, a much more worrying growing rate of committing suicide attempts, with a 30% growth, in teenagers between 12 and 18.

Without school and sport these restrictions are perceived as a punishment.

The pressure the teenagers feel is really high, especially for competitive athletes. They are used to practice sport regularly, the new status changes their biological rhythm and moods; without trainings, competitions, they feel lost, empty, suspended.                                                        

But yet the competitive athletes seemed to be privileged by the national decree; swimming pools, gyms, tennis courts, should have been open for them. A lot of athletes instead did not have the chance to train as many club managers decided to keep their clubs closed. The only presence of competitive athlete was not enough for them to pay for their costs so they decided to keep their clubs closed.

This depressing effect among teenagers, is a national social alarm born in Italy.

We need to wonder if these disturbances affected also the teenagers of the country highly impacted by covid-19; this discomfort could change into a disturbing psycho-depressive catastrophe for the new generation all over the world.

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