Be the Question
Another way that one might use these kinds of documentaries is to engage in critical dialogue about dominant narratives. Interestingly, the presence of the camera itself created some poignant texts to work with in this way. Joslyn and many of her friends seemed to turn “on” digital personalities when the camera was around. This was a really interesting window into how they saw the digital world. Commercials were a popular play scenario when the camera entered the scene. This created an opportune moment to talk in accessible terms about the commodification of learning and literacy. With Joslyn’s infomercial to mediate that conversation, the kids could enter some challenging and complex discussions.
Josyln’s video could be an entrance point to dialogue about this genre. Looking at other infomercials of the kind that Joslyn mentored after, we could ask questions like:
“Why does the infomercial person want you to call?”
“What do you think the infomercial means by reading?”
“What do we think reading is?”
“Who gets to decide what it means to read?”