All the support material for the class was available on a blog set up specifically and only for this group.
The group learnt various theoretical frameworks for unpacking gender constructs found in the world of advertising.
They also read and critiqued blogs about gender and advertising written by other young women and contributed their observations to the class blog by commenting on each other’s analysis.
After digesting many theoretical ideas and being exposed to new ways of looking at examples of advertising, each student chose a specific advertisement and used Photoshop to alter and transform the images. With the support of the facilitators, each student created an ‘open letter’ to the world of advertising. These ‘open letters’ formed imagery which critiqued the mainstream view of gender in mass media. Students wrote an artist statement explaining her work and describing the techniques used. Each statement was also posted on the blog.
The students then chose a specific advertisement and used Photoshop to alter and transform the images, with the support of the facilitators, each student created an ‘open letter’ to the world of advertising. These ‘open letters’ formed imagery which critiqued the mainstream view of gender in mass media.
At the end of the session, we printed all the pieces in poster format and each student presented her piece to the class.
“The best part of this workshop is the big critique at the end, when we put all the posters up and talk about them. This is when we really see the students pull together everything they’ve learned and explain how they’ve used design to create their own message with their poster. This year I was blown away by the students receptiveness and their level of analysis. Even the students who weren’t so sure at first ended up producing some pretty interesting posters!”
The Digital Literacy Project supported the environmentally-minded “Get Green” at the Carrefour Jeunesse-emploi Notre-Dame de Grâce to help them learn how to record a song and make a video as part of their jobs skills program.
Facilitator Nina had originally planned to help the group learn how to make a video for a song Get Green Participants were going to record. However, in the end we helped them with both the song and the video and Digital Literacy Project Coordinator Eric helped out as a audio recording facilitator.
Kayla (a participant from Get Green) explains the relationship between the workshop and their program:
“Get Green is a program provided by Service Canada to teach youth ages 16 to 20 transferable skills through a series of workshops to be used to benefit their futures. One of these workshops being a song that the participants were going to write and record together at a studio to build teamwork and show them a possible career option for those interested in music. A few weeks after the group had started writing their song they found out that their music producer could no longer work with them…”
There were challenges to making the video and the song at the same time. During the video editing process, we had to find places in the library where we could record a verse or two — transforming offices or storage rooms into make shift recording studios. There was a constant dialogue about whether we were making a song for a video or a video for a song.
“It was really interesting trying to make the video at the same time as the song was being written/produced. I think the biggest challenge was making sure we stayed focused on what we wanted to say, and staying true to the authentic thoughts and ideas of participants. It was great to see them working to make the song and the video from scratch, and I learnt a lot through out that process.”
In the end, the participants were happy with what they created and the experience supported the over all program of Get Green. Making the song from scratch was rewarding but took some time to get off the ground and required patience from everyone. We used Creative Commons beats and documentary clips and experimented with various audio processing. As for the words, the participants wrote about their experiences, their neighborhood and what success means to them. Working with music is great because everyone has personal way of relating to it.
Cecile (a participant from Get Green) elaborates:
I’m happy that we had a section in our program that we had to make a music video and a song it has helped me to be more out there with my talent and open up more as a way of expressing myself…
Katrina (coordinator of the Get Green project) notes:
“The partnership with Atwater Library was a really exciting one for us at Get Green. The creation of a video – from getting the shots, to choosing which to final editing – was a valuable learning process for the youth (and me)! Many of them had never worked with video before, and the editing equipment provided by Atwater was previously inaccessible to them. It was exciting to watch them use their creative outlets in an entirely new way. Also, the fact that Atwater was able to take over the song production at the last minute added a new element to the process. How would the video look in the end? We were lucky to have such dedicated facilitators who brought out the best in the youth. Thanks Nina and Eric! The youth were ultimately pleased with the video and proud of what they’d done. The Digital Literacy project is successful in that it makes digital knowledge and skills accessible to participants.”
Get Green screened their work at the graduation ceremony for their program at the CJE-NDG on December 15 2011.
For more information about Get Green:
Get Green is a pre-employability project for Anglophone youth (16-20) who have left the school system. This 17 week program aims to provide young people with social and professional skills through a variety of workshop: budgeting, employability, cooking and other lifeskills. We also plan business and school visits so that youth have an idea of the options that are before. We strive to support young people on their path to success. The next Get Green project will begin in March 2011. For further information please contact Despina Sourias at the Carrefour Jeunesse Emploi. 514 482 6665 ext 212 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Members of the Yellow Ribbon Social Club, a senior’s group at the Yellow Door, returned to the Library this fall and learned more about online photo galleries, photo slide shows and other photographic tools for telling personal stories through images on the internet.
The group had participated in other Digital Literacy Project workshops offered on digital photography and photo manipulation. With Digital Literacy Project facilitator Robin Kelly, we focused on digital photography as a communication tool. Online slide shows and videos composed of important pictures or relatives or loved ones. Some used pictures they found inspiring to create artistic videos purely for self expression.
This has easily been one of my favorite workshops to date. Having worked with the participants before on similar workshops, I’ve witnessed their confidence and enthusiasm towards learning digital tools go through the roof. It’s awesome to see some of the participants go from unsure double-clickers to confident digital storytellers! Other participants, who came to the Library already confident on the basics, launched into projects that really challenged themselves, working on their own and at the Library. I got the sense that having the opportunity learn new digital tools in a supportive and encouraging environment, all while creating and sharing their ideas was a really positive experience. Being a part of this workshop was definitely a positive experience for me; each time I met with the participants from the Yellow Ribbon Social Club I was inspired by the work they created and all the things they had to say!
We hope to continue working with these individuals. At the end of a session, we often have more ideas than time. We will be working with a few of the members of this group on another Digital Literacy Project collaboration with Ressources Ethnoculturelles contre l’Abus Envers les Aînés, this term. As well, Kathryn (who we met through our support of the Yellow Door) will be shifting from student to teacher and will be teaching a few courses for the Atwater Library’s Digital Literacy for Seniors by Seniors Project this winter.
Participant Katherine explains what this type of programming means to her:
Physically, seniors are not what we were at 16 years but the internet enables us to stay attached to our world, solar space and virtual worlds beyond what we could ever have imagined. Atwater’s DLP’s outreach and friendship to Yellow Door clients over time has established a respectful relationship with each client enabling us to expand our horizens while staying connected. Our fall workshop produced some fabulous artistic pieces.
Visit the Yellow Door website for more information about their impressive programs for seniors.
Check out past collaborations with the Yellow Ribbon Social Club and the Digital Literacy Project.
This spring sees the launch of a zine by Head & Hands' Young Parents Program! Members of the Young Parents Program came to the Atwater Library during the winter semester to learn how to edit images and text for their zine in Adobe Photoshop. The zine features images and stories by young parents in Montreal, as well as resources for other young parents and their supporters. If you'd like to have your own copy of the zine, contact Head & Hands at 514-481-0277!
Click on “read more” for a full description of the project.
In May and June, members of the Yellow Door’s Yellow Ribbon Social Club participated in a photo-voice workshop designed for seniors interested in learning new technologies to share stories with other generations. Over five two-hour sessions, participants learned how to develop scripts, scan and locate images, and create and edit short videos using Windows Live Movie Maker. Check out some of their wonderful stories below, by clicking “read more”!