The Greek organisation Fest of Fests organised a series of webinars about Generation Z (Gen-Z, born between 1997-2012), the first generation of “digital natives”. In November & December, they collected the input from media educators on different continents in three online meetings.
Gen-Z is a global generation, experiencing the solution to the growing technological gap between rich and poor: the ‘digital divide’ that threatens to consign millions of people worldwide to an “information underclass”, radically ceases to exist. The revolution in information technology is redefining poverty: how much Gen-Zers know, becomes as important as how much they own.
Gen-Zers all over the world, given only access and opportunity, teach themselves and acquire knowledge. They are globally connected, welcome change, support inclusion and independence, speak a new global language, and promote a new version of their own “reality” via social media. It is a new form of community, promoting freedom and sharing.
The aim and aftermath of the webinars is to collect audio-visual content made by 10-15 year old children from around the world, with short videos as a means to express themselves.
Some of the webinars speakers were: Beth Carmona (Midiativa, Brazil), Carol Colmenares (Timeline Digital, US), Charlotte Cole (Blue Butterfly, US), Rafael Parra (The New School, New York), Gert Hermans (ECFA), Jitendra Mishra (CIFEJ), Veronica Wulff (Sesame Workshop), Nusrat Durrani (MTV), and Mitsuo Tahira (Kineko, Japan). Among the different projects presented, some stood out, like:
– the film 1.5 DEGREES OF PEACE – A GEN-Z’S SEARCH FOR HOPE, by Kasha Sequoia Slavner
– the ART of Me project, from the USA.
– the ‘Brilliant: Girls and Boys in Action’ project, from Colombia
– the Haitian production BLUE BUTTERFLY AND LAKOU KAJOU.
The event addressed professionals from international youth film festivals, and other institutions dealing with content for children. For the pilot of the service the intention is to collect videos made by children within workshops under the guidance of festivals and educational organisations.
The webinars – with 35 speakers and around 150 attendees – had a hybrid form, taking place in the premises of the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation in Athens.