I am coming to the close of my summer semester, just a few more weeks to go, and for my YA Literature course we had to do an "adaptation" of one of the novels we have read thus far. We read an entire novel a week, so I had quite a few to choose from.
It is about a young girl (14-15) who is raped the summer before going into High School at a house party. She tries to speak out, but is shunned and ostracized for her initial actions. She becomes a High School outcast. The teachers, administrators, students--they all shun her. So she chooses to be silent.
I cannot reccomend this novel enough. It is wonderful and authentic. Although it is geared for YA, I think anyone who is in contact with young adults should read it so that they may know what a young girl dealing with this sort of problem may face. As I was reading it, I kept thinking like a "grown-up" and found myself talking to the character in the story; however, when I got to the end I realized that I was reading a teenager's story and that I needed to understand her from her perspective.
Honestly, I never truly realized how much I have grown as an adult and woman until I reflected on this character. Sure, I know I am a woman and not a teenager, but I never considered how much my thinking and perception of life has changed from those young years of my life. Growing up in the inner city you are forced to mature faster as you tend to have to deal with adult issues. So in my mind, I have always been adult in thinking. Reading Speak showed me how far I have come into being a woman and owning my voice.
Filming this video was a lot of work. It was hot and the sun was directly on us ( I don't think I have ever sweated so much! ). But, it ended up being a great creative assignment. I had to push myself to capture the essence of the book, keep it short, deal with a shortage of actors, and wrestle with how to depict certain concepts and ideas. Not to mention there were a number of art references that I had to leave out. A major portion of the story plot takes place in her art class. I wanted to focus on the message of rape and silence, so I did not do the obvious and film myself painting. (Although I would have loved to.)
In the end, I went through and re-read portions of the novel and chose to depict key points that I felt contributed to the message of women speaking up. There is not one scene that was not taken from something in the novel or that doesn't visually represent something the character said or expressed.
I did not intend for it to be a "silent" movie, but when I got the clips together it just made sense. The more artistic projects I do, the more I realize that flexiability is so integral in successfully creating. We must be open to inspiration and ready to bend when it is time to improvise. I quilt this way, I paint this way, and I hope I live this way.
*I'm trying this new "link" feature...so if you notice a lot of link happiness, it is just me trying this new widget. I may keep it...depends on how annoying and intrusive it is.