Youth identities and digital storytelling

Lead Author Mari, Mäkiranta
Institution Contact University of Lapland Faculty of Art and Design PL 122 96101 ROVANIEMI
Theme Theme 2: Vulnerability of Arctic Societies
Session Name 2.4 Art, Design, Media and the Arctic - Marginalization, Power and Manifestations for Change
Presentation Type Poster
Abstract text This article focuses on one case, Possible Worlds (Mäkiranta & Escudeiro 2014) short film produced during 2012-2014 with 16 young people from different European countries. The short film represents young people’s personal stories and photographs; the purpose of the film has been to examine what kinds of meanings young people attach on their living environments. The article seeks to explore the construction of youth identity in relation to living environments through digital storytelling. The phenomenon can be investigated on a geographical spectrum: from identification with specific locations, such as North, or the dissolutions of global boundaries. In different media representations young people are commonly used symbolically to signify geographical identities. However, young people also engage with identity construction through their own expressions, visualisations and relationships to communities and places. The article demonstrates, first, how digital storytelling and arts-based approaches can be utilised in examining communities and living environments in North. Second, the article claims that young people's art-making processes emphasise the critical perspectives on society and that enhancing new ways of thinking, visualising and designing demand both practise-based skills, theorising and self-reflection. Visual designs, theoretical lenses, personal stories and artistic intentions in art-making situations can adduce possibilities for identity construction and social change.