About YPA and the spring 2016 issue
A Young People's Archive (YPA) is the online digital culture catalogue and database that archives the contemporary experiences of each generation through oral, visual and textual histories. Currently published by The Ed Factory, and produced by students at the State University of New York, University at Albany, YPA strives to provide literary, visual, and mediated examples of young people's attempts to wrestle with notions of difference and social (dis)connection.
Self vs. World is the theme of this issue: Volume I, Issue 2 of the YPA, published in May of 2016. It is an exploration of how the world, but American culture in particular, sees young people in comparison to how we know and understand our real selves.
This theme is the guiding idea for which contributors create work - textual, aural, and visual - to convey their understanding of their place in the world. The contributors to this issue are 17-20 years old; they are often seen as just bodies, not beings who have a deep humanity and depth of heart.
Through the theme of self vs. world, the hope is to challenge notions of difference like gender, race, social class, the shaping influence of social media, and other social forces that have the power to fix perceptions.
This issue of YPA is our way to show the world the capacity of today's young people to think, challenge and create profound information that provides the public with an archive of those issues, cultural values, social norms, and beliefs with which we struggle every day in the hopes of creating a better, more understanding tomorrow.
About A LOVE PEDAGOGY
If the stereotypes about 17-20 year olds in America were true, this wouldn't be here. YPA wouldn't exist. In the Spring of 2016, the 54 students of Lisa Arrastia's WCI classes at SUNY University at Albany have exhibited profound depth of thought, and have certainly realized a greater connection with their own humanity. A major reason why their potential for deep analysis of their selves and the world around them is because they embrace love, and learn under a Love Pedagogy.™
As Lisa Arrastia, YPA's founder, puts it, it's a "practice through which teachers can ask the kind of questions that current education mandates just won't allow, where teachers teach through the relationships they develop by connecting their internal world to the internal lives of their students." It is a pedagogy, a teacher's beliefs and values, of love. A Love Pedagogy is needed, seemingly, in greater quantity every day that we, as a generation, become more and more attached to the faux social connections we develop online. We have moved into the world of tweets, subtweets and texting, all while diminishing the frequency and quality of our face-to-face interactions. As a result, two things occurred simultaneously: older generations marked us as incapable to continue the efforts put forth by their generation, and our own humanity has been robbed from us as we learn to un-see the injustices taking place around us. Yet, because of a Love Pedagogy, we've started to notice global and local injustices and become enabled to engage with them in profound ways. Our generation has so much potential, and all we need is a little more love to change the world.