The February meet-up took place at the offices of long-time Hive NYC member, Global Kids. Online Leadership Program Associate, Joliz Cedeño, kicked things off with an insightful survey of Global Kids’ diverse programming and deeply-rooted connections to youth development and social justice. Watch Joliz’s funny and info-packed Popcorn Maker video, highlighting what Global Kids is all about.
Katherine Fry, Co-Founder and Education Director of The Learning About Multimedia Project (The LAMP), then led a deep-dive into the Intergenerational Media Literacy Program, a Fall 2012 Hive Digital Media Learning Fund collaboration in partnership with Hive NYC member Museum of the Moving Image and Older Adults Technology Service (OATS). Katherine explained the nature of this unique partnership and its connection to two LAMP projects: the LAMPlatoon initiative and the group’s extensive fieldwork in critical media literacies. This particular collaboration brought together 30 teens and 30 seniors for a series of hands-on workshops that culminated in a screening at the Museum. The workshops combined media production and critique, and small working groups of teens and older adults. These sessions sharpened the critical thinking and media literacy skills of these often overlooked, misrepresented groups. Participants used simple editing techniques to deconstruct commercial codes and messages. As the participants presented their “broken commercials” at the final screening in December, their testimonies and videos offered proof of their transition from consumers to media-savvy producers. Check out the aptly named talkbacktomedia Tumblr for more commercial remixes.
Christopher Wisniewski, Deputy Director for Education & Visitor Experience at Museum of the Moving Image, was on hand to describe the Museum’s role in the collaboration. In the weeks preceding the Intergenerational Media Literacy Program, the Museum curators combed through more than 100 options to create a short list of 40 commercials and media clips with varying depictions of older adults. Next, a second team went to work, screening the selections through an educator’s lens, narrowing down the list to a final group of 25 clips. These commercials and sequences became the building blocks of the workshop, providing the source material for the media analysis and production components.
Even though Mad Men‘s portrayal of the bumbling secretary Miss Blankenship was problematic, it was ultimately rejected for inclusion in the workshop, owing to the show’s historical context and tone.
During the meet-up, Chris offered Hive NYC a sneak peek into the selection process by exploring the different concerns of the Museum’s educators and curators. As Hive NYC guessed which media clips made the Museum’s final cut, the subtle (and not so subtle) representations of older adults as child-like and out-of-touch became strikingly clear. Pulling chairs into small groups, Hive NYC then broke down some commercials in real-time, using a recent Super Bowl spot to discuss the role of humor, the complexities of representation, and the importance of fair use.
Finally, D.C. Vito, The LAMP’s Co-Founder/Executive Director, and Emily Long, Director of Communications and Development, announced the recent award of a Knight Foundation Prototype grant to develop the Oven—an online, open-source video editing platform—in partnership with the Seidenberg Creative Labs at Pace. Learn more about the Oven here.