The Youth of San Jose Build their Future

By Julia Bradshaw

Over the past two weeks the Adobe Foundation Global Youth Media Initiative sponsored a series of workshops between youth aged 13 – 18 and artists. The participants were given access to Adobe software and artists shared their skills in story-telling, digital manipulation and editing. The artist-instructors worked with the students and encouraged them to think about various aspects of their lives: from the sensory to the virtual.

On Friday 17th September, the participants in these workshops showed their films in the Empire Drive-In in South Hall – the coolest venue for anyone’s screening. When students from the Boys and Girls Club of Silicon Valley arrived for the screening, they dashed to the cars clambering over them with enthusiasm. Their enthusiasm was infectious; I typed some of these words sitting in a junked out car, sound coming from the radio dashboard speakers and watching the films created by the students.

Boys and Girls Club of Silicon Valley at the Empire Drive-In, South Hall

 The mantra of the Adobe Youth Voices is “Activate an Idea / Deactivate a Problem”.  They posed themselves the question “What will the world look like in 3010?” The students built screen-based landscapes to tell their stories. Darrin and Bryce Marrin from the Boys and Girls club of Silicon Valley participated in some of the workshops. They used software tools to “put ourselves into movies using a green screen”. Darrin said “I liked that we got to express the ideas we had. That we could create ideas; that was very fun”. Bryce agreed and said that they also wanted to “show that the future could be fun”. The movie was a group project with many ideas integrated into one movie which included avatars and flying cars – they said they all came up with the idea of flying cars. Van Nguyen added that they also came up with the idea of having “cell phones with a holographic”.

About 15 – 20 kids were involved from the Boys and Girls Club of Silicon Valley along with other local youth – a total of 50 youth in total. Adobe has been involved with ZERO1 since its outset and has always had a global media project as part of the festival. With this project they wanted to actively engage the youth with the issues of today.  Adobe Youth voices is the prime program of the Adobe Foundation. The program works with youth from all over the world to give them the tools so that they need to create a voice.

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