12771 EF: Negotiated Mobilities: Explorations of Agency and Justice Through Media-Making by Young People Across Institutional Boundaries

06/12/2015 @ 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
The Palace

Organizer: Lalitha Vasudevan
Presenters: Ahram Park, Cristina Salazar-Gallardo, Tara Conley, Kristine Rodriguez Kerr, Joe Riina-Ferrie, Lalitha Vasudevan

Young people whose institutional affiliations and markers of social location – ie, court-involved, undocumented, foster care, urban – render them institutionally vulnerable are in fact using media creatively to negotiate and navigate in between these institutional boundaries reveal agentive repertoires of re-making in their geographies of learning (Leander et al., 2010). In this session, we explore how youths’ media-making practices promote greater mobility both into and out of different contexts or circumstances necessary for supporting their access to education. For our purposes, we conceptualize mobility in a few complementary ways for this proposal: as stemming from the physical shifting of geographies of practice, as catalyzing shifts in how, when, and where participation is engendered, and as an embodied lens through which one’s lived realities may be altered.

In our interactive session, presenters will share examples from their research that illustrate ways in which young people’s media-making — filmmaking, collaging, social networking, remixing — can crystallize moments of access and mobility being negotiated by youth in pursuit of small moments of justice. Drawing on our respective experiences as educators, scholars, filmmakers, designers, and advocates working with youth in a range of out-of-school, community-based settings, we will explore how mobility is sought, enacted, and embodied in youths’ media-making practices.

Following a brief description of each study, presenters will share their work in the form of a digital gallery for part of the session before reconvening as a whole group. This will provide the audience with further opportunity to engage more closely with the nuanced representations of mobility evident in youths’ media artifacts.

Connection to DML2015 Theme

Media-making can be a practice in which young people develop strategies to reposition themselves in the world and to find freedoms within it. These practices can be transformative opportunities for them to critically expand their notions of justice as enacted in local and globalized contexts and in quotidian interactions.

With increasing access to mobile and documentary technologies, adolescents’ mediated ways of being in the world are being constantly amplified yet remain too narrowly researched. There is a strong need to locate research about adolescents’ learning with and through their media practices outside of school settings and to understand how adolescents mobilize their access to a wide variety of educational supports.

These presentations reveal the ways in which media technologies are not only used by young people, but embodied in their daily lived realities for purposes of creating and maintaining their agency as they navigate institutional, community, and personal boundaries. Thus, what contributes to justice in the educational lives of these youth are the qualities of connectedness, well-being, and opportunities for activism, which are further explicated by the research in this session. In this participatory landscape, learning is redefined and youth are repositioned as active agents in this process.

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