The photography competition Teenagers vs. Cyberbullying continues until 5 December.
How have messenger stickers or social media posts become means of aggression and insults? What are the consequences of moving threats and rumors into social media? Can creativity help consider this problem, and can photography become a way to oppose cyberbullying? And most importantly, how do young people see and experience this problem? As a part of the Travelling Docudays UA, we invite teenagers to join the photography competition Teenagers vs. Cyberbullying and to think about the phenomenon of cyberbullying together. As a result of the competition, there will be an online photo exhibition of shortlisted photo works on 10 December. Jury members and competition organizers speak about the idea of the competition and the problem of cyberbullying.
The Internet, which has replaced classrooms and school yards, playgrounds and cinemas for many teenagers during the coronavirus pandemic, does not just bring new opportunities. School students face a number of threats and dangers, one of which is cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is abuse, humiliation, aggressive attacks committed using various gadgets (particularly phones), using the internet, any electronic (digital) technology.
“With this competition, we are trying to draw attention to cyberbullying and how young people perceive this problem,” notes Maria Mendzhul, a regional co-coordinator of the Travelling Docudays UA in Uzhgorod. Continuing the topic of the festival, Teen Spirit, the organizers of the competition want youth voices to be heard, and photography to become a means to free yourself from fears and traumas. “The topic of the photo exhibition was proposed by teenagers themselves, who often suffer from bullying, mocking, insults from their peers. The Teenagers vs. Cyberbullying photo exhibition is how children see the global problem,” remarks Maria Symkovych, a co-organizer of the Travelling Docudays UA in Uzhgorod. The participants will add descriptions of the problem and solution possibilities to each photo, and when the competition ends, the shortlisted photos will become a platform for educational events about opposing cyberbullying. The competition is held in three age categories: young, aged 6 to 10; middle, aged 11 to 16; and older, aged 17 to 19.
Mykhailo Davydenko, a member of the competition jury and the director of the Uzhgorod Local Center for Free Secondary Legal Aid (FSLA), envisioning the final round of the competition, notes that it is important to understand cyberbullying not just as a teenage problem. But young people are especially sensitive to the dangers of the digital world and need support and realization of the serious nature of the cyberbullying threat by adults. The exhibition is another step that will help make the cyberbullying problem visible to society.
Communicating the feelings of someone who is being bullied and the consequences which cyberbullying in general leads to by means of static photography is not just a difficult task faced by the participants. “Creative work must strike a nerve and make you focus on the problem, think how to oppose this phenomenon more effectively. This is what I would like to see in the participants’ works,” says Mykola Yatskov, a jury member and the regional coordinator of Kyiv Dialogue in Zakarpattia.
To participate in the competition, send your photos with descriptions of the ideas behind them or with a personal story to: [email protected]. The image quality for participation must be at least 2,500 pixels on the longer side (a file of at least 2 MB, but not more than 8 MB). See more information about the photo exhibition here.