COMMERCIAL LAND/PROJECT GIRL
The Commercial Land exhibition combines art, media literacy and youth-led activism into a unique educational experience aimed at encouraging young people to become more critical consumers of contemporary media advertising and entertainment. The exhibition doesn’t try to keep young people away from the real world; it doesn’t try to protect or hide them from their media-based culture, but joins with them in understanding it. The purpose of the exhibition is to help viewers become literate in all media forms — TV, internet, movies, magazines, newspapers, billboards, books, product labels, and music — so that they control the interpretation of what they see and hear.
The art is used to unite youth — to bring them together to work for change, support each other and to widen their definition of themselves and what they really care about. Youth participation is central and the young people’s ideas are paramount. The outcomes include young people who are healthier, both physically and mentally, and are more engaged and thoughtful citizens in their communities.
During 2006 and 2007, middle school girls from throughout the Madison area gathered together once a month for a year to learn about the effects of commercial advertising and mass media on their lives. Throughout these workshops the girls created art, listened to a variety of experts, shared their personal experiences and perspectives, and helped in creating the Commercial Land Exhibition, a website, the project girl workbook, a guide to un-mediafying your life, and the recently published Zilly: A Modern Day Fable for younger audiences.
This exhibition uses art as an agent of social change and as a public example of young people coming together and working toward change. Through this exhibition we learn to support each other, widen our definition of who we are, what we really are about.
Download the workbook: “How to Un-Mediafy Your Life Workbook”.
For more information visit the Project Girl Website.