Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 10.08.24A free photography exhibition featuring young people from across Europe revealing their hopes and wishes for the future is now on display at Gala Durham.

The Portrait of a Continent exhibition features pictures of youngsters from 23 countries across Europe along with their inspirational messages. The UK is represented by two pupils from St Mary’s Primary School in South Moor, Jack and Katie, both 10. They call on the other youngsters to inspire and shape the world around them and many of the children are hoping for a more peaceful future for the next generation.

Funded by the European Union, Durham County Council hosts the Europe Direct Information Centre and the council’s International Relations Team invited the youngsters to take part. As well as the pictures and messages, a selection of free publications are also available to browse as part of the exhibition for people who would like to learn more about the work of the European Union.

The photographs are also available online at to allow the participating countries to see the exhibit. There’s also a quiz aimed at young people that can be downloaded from the site.

Durham County Council’s Brian Stobie, Europe Direct information centre manager, said: “The exhibition provides a fascinating insight into the hopes and dreams of the next generation across the continent. The European Union was initially created as a means to prevent further war so it’s both fitting and inspiring that peace, understanding and working together are recurring themes in the wishes of young people across Europe.”