This video piece attempts to ask questions about the media coverage of the English riots in 2011 and the relationship it has with the representation of youth. During the riots, there was a constant stream of footage showing rioters causing chaos throughout many parts of England. Although people from all walks of life took part, focus largely fell on the nation's youth. How has this affected the way youth are represented or viewed as a result? How do youth react to this footage, do they feel unfairly represented? It also questions' the specific language media uses, and how although the reporting is about youth, it is never directly aimed at engaging with that generation. Through the narration of the piece it starts to allude to the distance between youth and the media, highlighting the fact that the reporters are far removed from the 'voice of the youth.'
Projecting riot footage onto the faces of youths, the artist is questioning how this imagery has impacted on the way youth were portrayed and the media saturation of such imagery. It asks questions about the reporting which surrounded the events and the relationship between the media, how it reports on youth and such society changing events. The inclusion of the 3D glasses is a subtle reference to the critical theory from Guy Debord's The Society of the Spectacle and its relationship to consumerism, mass media, popular culture, and also its links to societal events.
The piece becomes about the disconnection between media, its audience and youth, who feel excluded from the reporting of themselves. This is demonstrated by the lack of reaction by the youths to the footage they are watching. This may be something they feel does not represent them fairly, so they become disinterested by it. It represents a small minority of youth, yet through media reporting indirectly affects public perception of a generation, and the behaviour of the 'youth of today'.
The accompanying zine attempts to place a thread of questioning around representation, stereotyping and class. It also attempts to question the preconceptions we make based on someone's appearance and environment. How these can be taken into completely different contexts and represent a person in wholly different lights.
This video is the culmination of my BAHons in Photographic Art at the University of Newport, Wales. http://www.offthemenu.co.uk/artists/lucy-rose-owen.html