Faces of diversity

This is Vidar Helgesen's foreword in the catalogue for the Sea Change exhibition that opened in Oslo 12 January. Sea Change is a photo documentary about young Europeans.

The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is a proud supporter of Project Sea Change. 

Outstanding photographers have taken on the challenging task of documenting the lives of our young generation, capturing their daily lives, dreams, fears and hopes for the future – at a time of transformation in Europe. 

The testimonies given through the lenses of the photographers both engage and surprise us. 

They engage us when they document how our young people venture out to conquer the world by any means at their disposal, their interconnectedness and their participation in their immediate environment. They surprise us when they bear witness to a strength and tenacity that we may not have expected of young people in Europe's crisis-affected regions. 

The financial crisis has hit young people harder than any other group, and it seems to be lasting longer for them. 

It is a common European responsibility to help our young generation achieve their full potential and grow into hardworking, self-reliant and tolerant citizens. 

Norway is contributing in various ways. The EEA and Norway Grants are our contribution to social and economic cohesion in the European Economic Area. Our support for the Project Sea Change photographers is channelled through our Grant schemes.

The photographers have somehow managed to blend in unnoticed with our young generation, and to freeze moments in their everyday lives. 

More than anything, they have documented the beautiful mosaic of European diversity.

Read more about the exhibition