Our Story

The Visual Media Workshop

 

The Visual Media Workshop is committed to researching and producing learning materials related to intersectional visual culture practices on social media.  Our research, learning resources, and workshops aim to be inclusive in regards to gender, race, sexuality, culture, class, physical or intellectual disability, and age.

 

What We Do:

There is so much moral panic about young people doing  things online. The Visual Media Workshop is a hub for researching and producing digital literacy resources for educators on visual culture in social media based on what young people are ACTUALLY doing online. We talk with young people. We let them teach us. And then we inform everyone else.  We collaborate with global academics to publish cutting-edge research. We engage students and community organizations in innovative online and offline learning opportunities. We provide hands-on training workshops as well as open-source digital visual literacy learning resources.  We place a special emphasis on inclusivity and social justice and partner with local and international collaborators who have similar values and goals.

The Context

Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat, citizen journalism, data visualization, selfies, drone photography, digital storytelling.  The popularity and pervasiveness of online visual communication and culture is uncontested.  Alongside the rise of visuality online, we've established three core goals:

1. Work with a learn from young people and what they are doing online.  The visual media workshop partners with an intersectional diverse range of community organizations to see what young people are doing online with visuals.

2. Having gathered this empirical data, we then produce learning resources that are organically informed by young people themselves rather than produced in a top-down manner about what we "think" young people are doing.

3. We then share the resources for free back with communities.  We often train the communities to teach their own having set up digital storytelling workshops where youth teach youth.

 
 
 Director of the Visual Media Workshop, Katie Warfield, and Instructor and Program Manager of the Visual Media Workshop, Aisha Amijee, at the VMW DigitaLENS Film Festival.

Director of the Visual Media Workshop, Katie Warfield, and Instructor and Program Manager of the Visual Media Workshop, Aisha Amijee, at the VMW DigitaLENS Film Festival.