The 2nd Annual Youth Art Show was on May 12, 2017 from 5 to 7 PM. It consisted of showcasing Season 3 of our podcast, Castle Speaks, our Digital Illustrations from 2016 and 2017, our Still Life photographs, the Media Campaigns from 2016 and our video projects.
When guests arrived, they were given a program with a mission card inside. This mission card encouraged guests to interact with different parts of the art show. Some of the way they could interact were writing on the Spaces of Hope whiteboard wall, leaving a guest comment, checking out our websites, taking a Castle Speaks business card and getting their photos taken in the Photo Booth. I was in charge of the Photo Booth and once guests entered, I persuaded them to take a photo, they had a lot of fun playing around with the props and holding it up with poses. When I'm not busy, I engaged with guests and talked about the art projects that was hanged on the walls.
The teens presented on different projects throughout the year, before premiering our video projects and the Castle Speaks podcast. Overall, it was very fun because the guests were very supportive and our conversations were very mutual.
Thank you for all the guests who came and our sponsors that have donated whatever they could for our cause, if you want to see the pictures that was taken during the Art Show be sure to visit the website linked below:
On Season 3 Episode 2 of Castle Speaks, Teen Interns had a in-depth discussion on xenophobia. Xenophobia is disliking an individual because of their country of origin. Xenophobia is linked to "othering"--another topic the Teen Interns included in their discussion, Othering is excluding an individual and/or a group of people as different from the rest of society. The common theme between xenophobia and othering is the exclusion of people due to their cultural identity. Teen Interns incorporated these topics into their discussion to illustrate the theme of this season's production which is fear. According to Teen Intern Angela:
Othering relates to fear because...people are scared to venture outside of their comfort zone and learn to understand others.
In her explanation, she claims that othering happens because people want to know there's a safety net for them to fall into rather than the dark pits of the unknown. If there's no assurance that foreign presence is safe, fear spreads and evolves into a state of tension. This state of tension often leads to contemporary political issues. Politicians use xenophobia for their political agenda to influence their audience to adopt their mindset. The Teen Interns finished up their discussion by agreeing that fear can be conquered if people took the time to understand people they don't know.
The Red Scare is a historical example of fear-based politics. Many democratic nations like the United States feared what communism could do to their political system. Communism works in a tyrannic function with no democracy. Many Americans were concerned at the thought that there are Communist spies that were working undercover to overthrow the democratic government. The Teen Interns used this historic event as an example of fear because many people feared losing their freedom and their rights. The fear sparked a movement where even government officials were not exempted from the suspicion of being Communists.
The Red Scare showed how masses of people adopt the fear mentality and excessive actions are taken as a justification to "protect the nation". The misguided nationalism then created division among social groups and targeted groups were publicly shunned. This famous event demonstrates how fear can give discriminate other's identity without knowing the full extent.
In times of social tension, different people react differently to the issues in the developing society. Personal beliefs, values, and cultural backgrounds all factor into their differing perspectives. In Episode 2 of Castle Speaks, the Teen Interns researched and cultivated information that spans from the Holocaust to 9/11. The tragic events we researched all had one thing in common; they were all symbols of injustice in history. The root of the injustice came from one group of people who shared the similar belief that foreign presence in their vicinity makes them uncomfortable, thus a specific group of people were targeted due to the fear of their foreign status. The measures that were taken to exclude the specific group of people ranged from laws to mass executions.
One specific event that the Teen Interns discussed was the Civil Rights Movement. The Civil Rights Movement was a watershed in history, known for its progression on ending racial segregation and discrimination. A group of Teen Interns shared their thoughts on the topic and had an interesting conversation on what they would have done if they lived during that era. The unamious response was that the Teen Interns would have participated in the movement. This sums up the mission behind the Castle Speaks podcast production; the podcast offers an opportunity for teenagers to have their voices heard on important matters and for their voices to serve as encouragement for other youths who are afraid of speaking up due to judgement from those who believe teenagers are not mature enough to deal with "adult matters".
PBS. Public Broadcasting Service, n.d. Web. 01 Mar. 2017
History.com Staff. "Civil Rights Act." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2010. Web. 01 Mar. 2017.
In Episode 1, Season 3 of Castle Speaks, CSTO Teen Program Interns discussed fear through scary stories they were told as children. CSTO Teen Program Intern Elizabeth discussed a story about Chupacabra's that her neighbors told her, “At night the Chupacabra comes out and finds farms and starts sucking the blood from the goats and cows and the stocks. But if it doesn’t find any animals to feed on and it sees a human near by, it will go to them and feed on them instead.” They got goosebumps all over, and the parents warned the kids to never go out in the dark.
The way the Chupacabra got it’s name is because people around Puerto Rico kept seeing their farm animals, being fully drained of their blood with three puncture marks on their chest. The way people describe the Chupacabra’s features is that it looks kind of like a reptile, it’s skin being leathery. It is said to move similar to a kangaroo by standing and hopping around.
After Elizabeth talked about the Chupacabra, she realized that it was not as scary as imagined and it wasn't even real in the first place. We realized that talking about your fears is a great way to overcome them and it also can be quite funny at times. We just couldn't stop laughing when we were recording!
Chupa-Macabre. "The Legend of El Chupacabra." The Legend of El Chupacabra. Those Guys Marketing, LLC., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2017.
In a segment of the first episode of Season 3 of Castle Speaks, the teens will be conversing about ghost stories. Ghost stories became one of our topics we talk about because fear sometimes comes from ghost stories that just doesn't go away from our head and that can be very fearful. This happens most of the time as children because we just simply don't know any better and believe in almost anything we hear. Now as we get older, our matured minds think otherwise.
Since ancient times, ghost stories have figured prominently in the folklore of many cultures around the world. The concept of a ghost is based on the ancient idea that a person’s spirit exists separately from his or her body, and may continue to exist after that person dies. Because of this idea, many societies began to use funeral rituals as a way of ensuring that the dead person’s spirit would not return to “haunt” the living.
Ghost stories began as a way to make children behave, to be productive over a course of time, and just to enjoy themselves. But as they got more serious, the people began to take it more seriously. It became a custom to bury the dead and have a ceremony to mourn for a lost soul. Halloween is an example of the revolution of ghost stories for in the past, that day was serious and a way for Christians to be dedicated to remembering the dead, but now everyone celebrates it by dressing up and getting candy by Trick-or-Treating.
History.com Staff. "History of Ghost Stories." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 22 Feb. 2017.
In Season 3 of Castle Speaks, the Teen Program will be focusing on the topic fear. We decide to chose this topic because we have fear in our everyday lives from political problems to getting good grades in school and not disappointing the people around us. We also discuss why we tend to run away and make our decisions based on fear without thinking about other possibilities. An example is when a teen intern said, "I once saw a dog when I was young and because I'm scared of dogs, I ran away without thinking.
Fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, or by something unknown or unusual to us. Fear is a chain reaction in the brain with a stressful stimulus and then releases chemicals that cause a fight-or-flight response: racing heart, fast breathing and energized muscles, etc. The fear response is almost entirely an autonomic response. We don't consciously trigger it or even know what's going on until it actually happens.
Fear is hardwired in your brain for a good reason. Neuroscientists have spotted distinct networks that run from the depths of the limbic system all the way to the prefrontal cortex and back. When these networks are electrically or chemically stimulated, they produce fear, even in the absence of a fearful stimulus. Feeling fear is neither abnormal nor a sign of weakness. The capacity to be afraid is part of normal brain function. In fact, a lack of fear may be a sign of serious brain damage.
Layton, Julia. "How Fear Works." HowStuffWorks Science. HowStuffWorks, 13 Sept. 2005. Web. 22 Feb. 2017.
Tsaousides, Theo, Ph.D. "7 Things You Need to Know About Fear." Psychology Today. Psychology Today, 19 Nov. 2015. Web. 22 Feb. 2017.