images of youth - the year behind, the year ahead

we live in a moment of unparalleled communicative accessibility and information dissemination. youth, so often the object of maligned commentary and political concern, are leading the charge in new modes of expression, purposes for communication, and representations of self.  yet, all too often, the stories we see in the popular press about young people are ones that highlight the exceptions and not the norm.  that is, we see reported several instances of youth using social networking to plan mass chaos and ultimately inflict harm on others.  yes, this does happen and yes we hear about it.  but how often do we hear about the use of media and technologies by youth to engage in social action?  for inspiring stories, see below:

A positive face of youth in the media - Today's Youth-Led Media Summit brings together enthusiastic young people from around the UK who want to determine their future role – and dispel the image of dangerous hoodies

Youth Radio - Youth Radio was founded in 1990 on the deeply held belief that underserved youth, ages 14-24 years old, have the creativity, technical skills and entrepreneurial spirit to become leaders in the multi-media industry and the community and to serve as mentors to other youth.

new book about harlem, youth, and multimodal literacy - In her new book, Valerie Kinloch investigates how the lives and literacies of youth in New York City’s historic Harlem are affected by public attempts to gentrify the community.  Kinloch engages the perspectives of two young men who use documentary and video making to guide their collaborative inquiry.

Adobe Youth Voices/ Listen Up! in India - In November the Listen Up! team traveled to India with our Adobe Youth Voices partners to to work with teachers and students in documentary and animation filmmaking.

America's Youth Speak Out - America's Youth Speak Out is the only youth produced national public service campaign. More than 4000 young people across the country are producing public service messages dealing with issues that are important in their lives and communities.

Youth video conference highlight: The Choose to Be the Change youth video project highlighted the Northern Ontario First Nations Communications Conference

what i hope for in the year to come are what michelle fine has referred to as "audiences that are worthy" - an interpretive context for the words, images, stories, and storying by youth that embraces a generous and generative posture.  having worked with youth to produce numerous of varied artifacts in which young people make themselves vulnerable, i am particularly committed to seeking, finding, and creating meaningful audiences for the narrative insights embodied by these artifacts.  may 2010 be the year to start/continue this work more effectively...


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