Centering and Supporting Girls' Video-Storytelling: reflections on a feminist-informed extracurricular pilot program and research study
Abstract: This paper describes a brief, virtual, extracurricular digital storytelling program that I designed and facilitated with a small group of racialized girls during the pandemic. Conceptualized as a feminist intervention, the program supported my doctoral research which aimed to centre and explore girls’ experiences and advocate for opportunities that support diverse populations of girls who are interested in video-making. I discuss how program design was informed by anti-racist, social justice-oriented, and culturally responsive pedagogies; feminist and community media tenets; and informal youth media culture practices; I further drew from my television production career and experiences producing youth-engaged content. I offer an overview of program session content, which focused on mobile phone video-making, and provide examples of activities, materials, and participants’ creations. Drawing from participant and researcher-generated data, I reflect on the overall program and discuss future directions for relevant girl-centered media-making that particularly engages and supports racialized and other marginalized groups. This includes activities that acknowledge a TikTok-dominated and post-feminist youth media ecology, empower girls to explore their lives, and encourage peer collaboration and co-creation processes. I conclude by emphasizing the significance of extracurricular programs that provide safe spaces and support girls' development of social and cultural capital.