In June 2006, WKCD joined other U.S.-based youth media organizations in a multi-year international initiative called Adobe Youth Voices (AYV), sponsored by Adobe Systems Incorporated. AYV helps youth worldwide “create with purpose,” using the latest media and technology. In the first year of the initiative, WKCD teamed with youth and educators in New York City, San Francisco and San Jose, Seattle, London, Delhi, and Bangalore to produce a rich array of multimedia and book projects. In 2007-2008, WKCD collaborated with youth in Beijing, Hungary, Prague (Czech Republic) and Beijing.
In 2008-2009 WKCD produced a photo book of the best photographs taken by youth worldwide as part of the first two years of Adobe Youth Voices. We also sponsored an international photo competition and created a book made up of the winning photographs and artist statements. Finally, we produced a mini-curriculum for teachers that draws upon this rich image bank to teach students about seeing across cultures.
Written in Chinese or Japanese, the word “crisis” consists of two characters: one representing crisis or danger, the other representing hope or opportunity. In the spring of 2009, WKCD invited youth worldwide to show us, through their own eyes, what troubles them and gives them hope in their close-by world—whether a deeply etched slum in East Africa or a well-off suburb in the northwestern United States. Across four continents and sixteen countries, young people responded to our call by sending their photos and captions—crisp, light, dark. This volume gathers their acute perspectives into a compelling whole.
|India in a Time of Globalization: A Photo Essay by Indian Youth (Next Generation Press, 2008) See flip book. Order a copy.
"How do you make the camera snap?” asked 14-year-old Prakash. Over the next several months, Prakash and his classmates in Bangalore, along with youth in New Delhi and Noida, took close to 5,000 photographs capturing daily life around them. They also gathered over 50 interviews. India in a Time of Globalization—part of Adobe Youth Voices—provides a unique window into the push and pull Indians face as their country becomes a global power.
|Fresh Takes on a Flat World: Youth Photos from Around the World (Next Generation Press, 2009) See flip book.
“I never knew how much you can say with an image,” says Seattle youth photographer Yvonne. Fresh Takes on a Flat World brings together a rich sample of the photographic art created by youth worldwide as part of WKCD’s partnership with Adobe Youth Voices. The collection has three thematic sections, mingling and juxtaposing photographs by students in far-flung sites and circumstances. Seeing in different ways, making our own connections, we all may discover something new, as the youth did who made these photographs.
In Beijing, WKCD is working with a team of six students, from several middle and high schools across the cities, to create weekly blogs that feature commentary, photographs, and video and audio clips about issues close to these Beijing youth. The students’ blogs appear in Chinese on the Chinese blog site, baidu.com. In the U.S., selections of their blogs appear in English at http://beijingyouthvoices.wordpress.com/. Check it out and leave comments!
In anticipation of the Beijing Olympics, the “Beijing Youth Voices” team has also produced a collection of audio slideshows. Click here for this inside look at the Beijing Olympics—and more.
In Hungary, we are partnering with the Foundation for Democratic Youth (DIA), an NGO headquartered in Budapest that conducts a range of youth programs across Hungary. Our focus is helping youth involved in DIA’s nationwide service-learning initiative document their work and community service activities. In Hungary, as in most of Eastern Europe, the notions of volunteerism and social responsibility died during the Soviet Era. Rekindling this social spirit among a new generation of Hungarians is one of DIA’s main goals.
WKCD’s collaboration with DIA youth has several parts. It includes: online photo galleries capturing a specific event; an audio slideshow documenting DIA’s annual gathering of Hungarian youth involved in service learning, in conjunction with “Global Youth Service Day”; audio slideshows produced by 18 teams of youth across Hungary, about their service projects; and a photo essay book dedicated to the importance of social responsibility in civil society.
Cluj Napoca, Romania
In Romania, we have teamed up with the NGO Resource Center for Roma Communities in Cluj Napoca. The United Nations has declared this first decade of the 21st century “The Decade of Roma Inclusion,” looking to diminish the discrimination and cultural conflict that has kept the Roma population in Romania and across Europe on the margins of society. Our work in Cluj, the urban center of Transylvania, supports a growing group of Roma (gypsy) youth in documenting their city and its culture through the creation of audio slideshows and a touring photo exhibit.
Prague, Czech Republic
In Prague, WKCD is partnering with the Multicultural Centre Prague on its “Cultures Around the Block” project, a flagship program of The European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008. The project brings together young people from diverse ethnic groups across Prague and, through workshops where they document their surroundings with various mediums, facilitates intercultural dialogue. Starting in June 2008, WKCD will present online the photographs youth have taken as part of “Cultures Around the Block,” as well as supporting a photo exhibit that will travel to several European cities, ending in Brussels at the culminating “Dialogue of Cultures” festival.
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“There’s a radical—and wonderful—new idea here… that all children could and should be inventors of their own theories, critics of other people’s ideas, analyzers of evidence, and makers of their own personal marks on the world.”
– Deborah Meier, educator