12543 CE: Youth Film Collaborative: Using Youth Participatory Action Research, Art and Collective Action to Address Community Issues
Organizers: Sandra Quinones, Brian Bailey, Matt Bundick,
Presenters: Joe Ehman and students, Renee Knox, David Goldbach, James Foster
Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) engages young people in the act of conducting original research and creating multimodal texts so that they develop cultural and academic capital to operate in multiple discourse communities. Simultaneously YPAR works to create more socially just schools where youth are encouraged to take a lead in questioning policies and educational practices, including unequal power relations in our schools and society (Cammarota & Fine, 2008; Duncan Andrade & Morrell, 2008; Ginwright, Noguera, & Cammarota, 2006). Youth Films Collaborative (YFC) is a digital media initiative between Obama Academy (Pittsburgh Public Schools) and the Canevin Center for Educational Transformation and Social Justice at Duquesne University, in consultation with a faculty member from Nazareth College in Rochester, NY. By providing a collaborative, experimental, mentored space in schools for 11th grade students, this project aims to sharpen participants’ digital video production skills and give them new ways of engaging with a range of important critical multimodal literacy practices. More specifically, the YFC engages youth in the development of mini-documentary films on equity and social justice issues that are timely and relevant for youth-schools-communities using their “voice”. The concept of voice is used to show how people resist oppression, as seen in many feminist and post-feminist theories (Belenky, Clinchy, Goldberger, & Tarule, 1986; hooks, 2000). Voice also refers to instances where youth attempt to overcome and resist the ways in which schools and communities work to silence (Fine, 2003) and marginalize students by reproducing inequalities on account of race, class, gender, disability, and sexuality (Bowles & Gintis, 1976; Oakes, 1985). Voice is used in this presentation to question who gets to speak and who gets to make decisions with regard to school and community issues that directly impact youth. As such, the YFC seeks to cultivate reflective and change-centered processes (including the development of youth’s critical thinking and research skills), as well as practices which promote relationship building and inter-cultural dialogue with peers and adults in and outside of school.
Over the course of the 2014-2015, we are in the process of:
• Identifying community issues that are important to youth
• Asking essential research questions about the community issues
• Collecting data and reading literature on the issue
• Creating a mini-documentary on a social issue
• Distributing the video online, through social media, and film festivals and in public screenings
• Organizing “action events” around their video with the following questions – What is the change that you would like to see with regard to the community issue? How do we create action around the message in the mini-documentary film?
This session will unpack the process for our work, provide an example of how youth are using media production for social change, present clips of the mini-docs, and give youth co-presenters a chance to speak their own truth to power and resistance about community issues that impact their lives.