The Autonauts


The film closely follows four foreign youths who are learning to deal with tools and challenges in a garage. How does one manage to nurture motivation in order for it to grow by itself?
Background: Youth unemployment is an economical problem. More and more young people have few of the things that are needed: they are not qualified, not educated, not motivated enough. Youth unemployment is also a private tragedy. Does it have something to do with exclusion when an application is rejected because the applicants` surname is Kuzmanović or Abdou? Or are people just too anxious?The further training project teaches young foreigners what every-day work in a garage means. Classes and garage work alternate every week. With the help of supporters – trained social workers who have an idea about cars –, they learn how to take a car into pieces and how to put it together appropriately.Each young person has to give up something in order to get closer to his aim: an apprenticeship.
Motivation: For me, this project is all about showing young people ways to develop self-confidence. It is about communicating that it is good to invest in one’s own possibilities and abilities. And it is about the joy that achieved work can cause.
Youth unemployment is currently one of the greatest challenges to our society. I find it very hard to imagine that young people should finish school without any opportunities to do something, to create something, to be part of any kind of processes or procedures, since this also means not to have any money to buy a motor scooter or clothes, not to be able to afford a disco or movie ticket. To be young and unemployed means to be disconnected from social structures, and that, I imagine, is cruel. The project’s aim is down-to-earth: to smooth the way into ordinary professions, like warehouseman or spare part seller.
I would like to show the success of such a project. For two years, I looked for an interesting project in the area of social entrepreneurship. I consider the combination of free economy and consideration towards a particular life situation highly interesting. It combines assistance and requirements and offers creative solutions for a human future of work.
At this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, the «Social Entrepreneurs» were paid special attention.


A film by Christian Jamin

20 Min., HDV, 2008