linked up: Talking Back by way of Poetry Slams, Photography, and Documentary Films

It’s been a while since I’ve done a linked up post so let’s remedy that. In looking over the list of links and articles I’ve accumulated over the past few weeks, these pieces stood out, and compiled together they showcase youth talking back to racist stereotypes, a culture that denies their existence, and media industries that prefer stereotypical representations of girlhood.

I tweeted this last week, but I keep coming back to this video so I thought I’d share it again. HBO hosted a 7 part series titled Russell Simmons Presents Brave New Voices. The series is narrated by Queen Latifah and follows 6 youth poetry slam teams from across the country as they work towards and compete at the Brave New Voices National Youth Poetry Slam Championship.

Here’s the first video I saw – this is Britney performing “Fish, Grits, & Buttermilk Biscuits”

Here is Mahaliyah performing “Reclaim”

aCurator – an online magazine devoted to photography – is currently running a feature titled Queer Kids: A Project by M. Sharkey. The photo spread includes images of queer kids and quotes from Sharkey’s interviews with them. This feature reminds me of Jeff Sheng’s series “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in which he photographed gay men and women serving in the military, in their uniforms, but with their faces obscured so as to protect their identities. In both series photography is used to acknowledge the voices – and in some cases the mere existence – of homosexual and queer communities in the U.S. You can read more about M. Sharkey’s inspiration for the project in this blog post associated with aCurator.

The Women’s Media Center partnered with Girls Learn International to sponsor this video post by Culley Schultz titled “Girls Investigate: Is the Media a Mirror?” In the documentary, posted below, Culley interviews teenage girls about what shows they watch and how these show represent women and girls. Culley expected girls to talk about beauty ideals and issues of weight, which some of the interviewees bring up. However, most of the girls discussed their discomfort with stereotypical representations of girls and women on TV in terms of characters’ traits and aspirations. Several girls noted that girl characters on TV do not resemble them in terms of their personalities or interests – where are the athletic girls? the shy girls? and in thinking about beauty ideals where are the plus-size girls? All excellent questions.

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~ by actyourage09 on May 11, 2010.

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