Last week something really exciting happened in the world of music. Musicians Cat Power, Kim Gordon, Yoko Ono and Courtney Love joined with artists such as Marina Abramović and Pussy Riot and other creative people to support a new revolutionary venture in the form of an educational platform for teenage girls. Cat Power will be one of the teachers involved in the college for the ‘imagination’ so we asked her to explain a little bit about why she got involved.
School Of Doodle is an online community created to empower teenage girls as young leaders, future mothers and future women thinkers. The state of society’s infrastructure and public education affect us all, particularly our children, and this online college exists as an attempt to counteract that.
During my teenage years, I attended 10 public schools in three southern states of America and experienced, first hand, this country’s low income “caste” segregation, through country and city zoning excluding less-privileged children from better schools. Higher income neighbourhoods seemed to have much more of everything than rural, low-income neighbourhood schools. Some faculties were stellar heroes but many of our teachers were football coaches teaching science or biology. Across the board that creates mismanagement of curriculum and, therefore, generations of uneducated pupils. I wanted to get involved in School Of Doodle to help our youth truly learn and truly engage in the freedoms we as Americans see become more and more marginalised. Also, I truly appreciate DIY and grass roots attempts to infiltrate society’s norms. I don’t care what I have to do to help out; I’ll do whatever I can.
All children need an antidote to how criminal the American system has become. A young girl in the south to this day is faced with a high concentration of bible-belt ethics and post-war domestic roles of women and those teenage girls need a branch of protective exploration, so they can become strengthened in themselves and their bodies, as powerful women. Personally, I had very few examples of this growing up and I still observe it in the modern day. Of course it is also important to incorporate a co-ed tutorial for boys at School Of Doodle.
Society is failing teenage girls by not encouraging their rights or respect of their body, minds and intellect, and most importantly, the rights to their own voices. This is a missing link to achieve universal knowledge within education in society as a whole. I feel teens can truly gain community, internationally, through something as inspiring as School of Doodle. It will help them learn to articulate their common goals and become strong individuals as well as informed, responsible adults.
Is this a political act? All things that reach outside of the norms of society are always projected negatively, half-glassed, ‘wacky’, separatist or anti-establishment, conjuring the topical ‘political’ stance. But only until the norms of education begin articulating themselves into a fuller, more honest, open, respectful and diverse forum, then the idea of the ‘anti’ will become invalid. The norm needs a shift and School Of Doodle is a good first step.