As any parent knows, a child grows leaps and bounds in one year—and within four years, they can feel like a totally different person. It’s over this longer time span that Smeeta Mahanti decided to photograph and interview a group of over 300 youngsters (aged 10 to 17), starting in the pivotal election year 2016, asking them to write a message to the world. In August of 2020, she followed up with 8 of these Bay Area-based subjects, who were 14 in 2016, but are now of legal voting age: 18. “They have spent 4 years at the heart of a revolution,” says Mahanti. “Today, they are gearing up to exercise their right to vote in their first presidential election.”
Get to know four of these stories: the young subjects’ hopes, fears, and most pressing concerns—and how they’ve evolved over the past 4 years—below.
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