Documentar: Opportunities for Youth Voice

Posted by CBK Associates on August 4, 2020

What is documentar? This virtual “time capsule of now” was launched this spring by CBK Associates to establish a platform for youth voice, initially regarding the pandemic. We noticed the absence of youth voice — the adults shaped the narrative. But what about youth?

Now, through documentar, youth express what is happening for them, whether it’s the pandemic, ongoing activism surrounding racism, actions they are taking, or anything else relevant to their lives in the moment. Using photos, visual art, words, audio, collage – their chosen selected medium – they can show what matters most. They learn from and with their peers, and adults learn from them.

On Instagram @documentar_ (yes, an underscore), you will see the global submissions from China, Ghana, Azerbaijan, France, Vietnam, Cuba, and across the US from Portland, Oregon to Staten Island. You can also see the submissions on Facebook @documentarNOW.

Learn more! Join us! Every week in July, the Mayor of NYC’s NYC Service will host two events with participants from around the globe led by CBK Associates:

For adults – a 20-30 minute information session held on Tuesdays about documentar. Click here for dates/times and to register:

For youth – a one-hour interactive documentar virtual experience for youth ages 13-21. During this hour youth will have many ways to participate, including time to make their documentar submission. Youth are welcome to attend multiple sessions. Please invite youth you know or who are a part of your programs to join. Click here for dates/times and youth registration:

In August, we will offer thematic gatherings for growth, conversation, creation, and action.

As we add to documentar, we witness, connect, care, and hold our stories together.

Please spread the word! Invite friends and colleagues to join the adult information sessions and learn more. Email Cathryn Berger Kaye at for more information including how to bring this program to your summer program and school or university as students return virtually and/or in-person.

What are youth saying? Following a documentar virtual experience, a youth from Accra, Ghana wrote:

“This online session that took place on the 15th of June was a very very insightful one and I learned quite a lot from it. One thing that stood out to me was the fact that all of us in that meeting were very connected and there was unity among all of us. I met people from different parts of the world and I got to see the work they had put so much effort in to complete. Their works were also very amazing, people created poems, some wrote songs, some made videos and paintings, and some told their stories in pictures. I believe that this thing that has been started will lead to something great in the future even when the coronavirus passes. I would also love to partake in one of these meetings again.” Joshua, high school student, Ghana

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