You’re making media about a really important issue… Don’t stop with the finished product, for now the hard work of sharing your message begins! Make and take as many opportunities to exhibit as you can. As youth artists from Uganda would attest, you never know who may come by to listen.
“Never give up on getting your voices heard - that way your media will get to all the audiences you intend.”
For the World Teachers’ Day celebration in the Fall of 2010, youth from two Adobe Youth Voices programs in Uganda presented to teachers and officials, including Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. “When we received the invitation,” youth artist Esther says she “marveled. I was very happy to know that at last we were moving a step higher in the broadcasting of our media.” Moreover, teachers from all over Uganda would see their work too, which Esther regarded as a “great achievement because I believe that teachers play a great part in shaping the future generation.”
Contemplating the major issues facing their country, students at Gayaza High School and PMM Girls’ School, in Jinja, Uganda, had identified climate change and child abuse as topics that weren’t receiving enough attention. As they prepared for the exhibition, youth artist Rhamulah recalls, “We tried to make it our best since Uganda’s Head of State was the Guest of Honor.” She and her peers from the two sites worked closely together, selecting and polishing their media pieces. “We chose the best, most detailed and impactful ones for the event,” says Esther, “since we wanted our messages to come out as strongly as we had intended.”
For this special exhibition, they presented these films: Child Abuse, A Fact File of Child Abuse, and Climatic Change. Isabella, another youth artist representing her program at Gayaza High School, reflects, “Having my work and my views on issues in my society go as far as the president of the nation was such a delight and memorable experience that I pride myself on and will always live to remember.”
Having the honor to show their media at a national gathering with the president in attendance was an extraordinary opportunity for these young artists, which they seized with great seriousness of purpose. However, this kind of chance may come along only once in a blue moon. In the meantime, you can seize myriad other opportunities to exhibit your work and spread your message. For instance, Adobe Youth Voices programs in Uganda now have aYouTube channel as well as a Flickr account for their collection of youth-produced media.
Web technologies enable youth artists to share their media far and wide - a combination of ongoing exhibition and traveling exhibit, accessible for so many people. It is vital to target your audience as well, to gain the attention of local leaders and change agents. Youth should “always look out for great opportunities,” says Esther, “to showcase their media to decision makers and people who are impactful in their communities.”
Reaching out to your audience can take many forms, but it’s most powerful when there is real conviction, commitment behind the message. As Maham advises, youth should create media “with all your heart because that way you will always look for the best ways of displaying your work.”
Participant & Site Info
Esther, Maham, and Isabella participated in Adobe Youth Voices as students at Gayaza High School near Kampala. Rhamulah was an Adobe Youth Voices participant and student at PMM Girls’ School, in Jinja, Uganda.
POST DATE: May 30, 2012
AUTHOR: Wendy Rivenburgh