Author: Naomi, Girl Hack Trainer
This September, Girl Hack kicked off at six high schools across New York City, bringing together students interested in digital media and technology for a year of creating fun, original, socially conscious media projects!
Students started the year by getting to know each other and creating mind maps about what they hope to learn and do in Girl Hack, and what they want Girl Hack to be, for them and their communities. A few ideas came up time and again: this group is motivated by feminism, video games, keeping up with the news, coding, and staying woke about equal rights issues for girls and women! We also talked about how this work can support individual students' college and career goals, and heard from students who are interested in pursuing everything from fashion to veterinary school to law to the military! Along with these conversations, we started to discuss the concepts of intersectionality and the importance of equitable representation in media, posing the questions: How do we want to be represented in media? How can we help ensure that groups we don't personally identify with also get fair representation?
[Caption: Starting our year at Girl Hack with group conversations and mind mapping!]
For their first project of the year, students dipped their toes in the world of graphic design and got to work making incredible posters to let their schools know about Girl Hack and why everyone should want to join. We quickly got busy putting these beautiful designs up around the schools. Girl Hack represent!
[Caption: A sampling of the amazing posters designed by Girl Hack students this fall!]
From there, we dove deeper with our graphic design skills. We checked out ad campaigns from around the world, discussing how a single image can tell a story, and thinking critically about who is represented, who is missing, and why. In this vein of storytelling images, we moved on to read comic books, discuss heroes' origin stories, and created our very own superheroes and everyday heroes fighting for causes students care about, like the environment, disability awareness, bullying, and more.
[Caption: Sample covers and panels from the first generation of Girl Hack comic books!]
For our next unit, Girl Hack students are discussing bodily autonomy and what rights teens, girls, and women have around the world when it comes to making decisions about their bodies. We'll be creating podcasts that explore these issues and tell the stories of people who have been impacted--stay tuned!
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