You Failed Us

You failed us… We will never forgive you.

– Greta Thunberg, youth activist.

“You are failing us,” Greta Thunberg famously said at the 2019 UN’s Climate Action Summit in New York. “But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you, and if you choose to fail us, I say, we will never forgive you.”

Issues facing our next generation are far greater than sustainability. Being casualty of our catastrophic failure in leadership, governance, and development, children and youth are often caught in the midst of conflicts, poverty, crime, migration, and massive inequalities. Photographer Jennifer Chan has been taking portraits of children from around the world for the past five years. “You failed us” is a documentary series that captures children’s lives in their full diversity and absolute resilience – at home, in the street, at school, in refugee and migrant camps, working, playing, or simply caught in an unexpected tender moment. These shots urge us to reflect on how we could do better, individually and collectively, to create a better future for them.  

All Content © 2023 by Jennifer Chan