Rebel Girls: Youth Activism and Social Change across the Americas

Rebel Girls: Youth Activism and Social Change across the Americas

Rebel Girls: Youth Activism and Social Change across the Americas

Rebel Girls: Youth Activism and Social Change across the Americas

Synopsis

From anti-war walkouts to anarchist youth newspapers, rallies against educational privatization, and workshops on fair trade, teenage girls are active participants and leaders in a variety of social movements.Rebel Girls: Youth Activism and Social Change Across the Americasilluminates the experiences and perspectives of these uniquely positioned agents of social change. Jessica K. Taft introduces readers to a diverse and vibrant transnational community of teenage girl activists in the San Francisco Bay Area, Mexico City, Caracas, Buenos Aires, and Vancouver. Expansive in scope and full of rich details, Taft brings to life the voices of these inspiring activists who are engaged in innovative and effective organizing for global and local social justice, highlighting their important contributions to contemporary social movements and social theory.Rebel Girlsexplores how teenage girls construct activist identities, rejecting and redefining girlhood and claiming political authority for youth in the process. Taft examines the girl activists' social movement strategies and collective political practices, detailing their shared commitments to process-based political education, participatory democracy, and hopeful enthusiasm. Ultimately,Rebel Girlshas substantial implications for social movements and youth organizations, arguing that adult social movements could learn a great deal from girl activists and making clear the importance of increased collaboration between young people and adults.

Excerpt

Nenetzin stands in the center of the plaza, her arms painted white, wearing a skeleton mask and a bridal veil. Along with a dozen other young activists all dressed as skeletons, she sings a song about remembering those who have died due to poverty, domestic violence, state repression, and other social and political injustices. It is “El Dia de los Muertos,” the Day of the Dead, and Nenetzin’s Mexican youth activist collective is interweaving tradition with political theater to educate others and build oppositional consciousness. At the end of the singing and dancing, another young skeleton steps forward to inform the audience that this performance was part of the construction of La Otra Campaña, a Zapatista-initiated campaign for building an alternative progressive politics in Mexico.

Emma reports on labor issues for an independent, public access television show in Vancouver. She has presented stories on a speech given by anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, a day of mourning for workers who have died on the job, and other “progressive, or working things that are going on around the city.” in addition to being a media activist, Emma also played a key role in the organization of a student rally in support of striking teachers. Emma and some of her pro-labor friends convinced a citywide student organization to take a stand on the issue and coordinated an exuberant display of student solidarity. Taking over a major intersection, the teens played music, danced, had fun, and demonstrated to the city that they wanted the district administration to return to contract negotiations with the teachers’ union.

Manuela and I sit at her kitchen table, making pins out of foam, ribbon, and printed logos for tomorrow’s Communist Youth of Venezuela (Juven-

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.