My experience as a LAMP intern has been extremely interesting and fulfilling while still fun. I’ve learned a lot more about media especially in regards to music videos because of the Break the VMAs projects. For this assignment, I was able to really understand how artists portray themselves for their videos and all the hidden social messages included. Working at The LAMP has made me realize just how much media influences us and how in the 21st century, media continues to be at the forefront for everything we know.
Before working here, I did not really know what exactly media literacy was, and now from this experience, I perceive media literacy as how people understand and process media. For teenagers my age, media literacy is something we all need to be aware of, as we are the ones using the most social media and constantly keep up to date on celebrities and gossip. I think that media literacy is something that needs to be taught in schools because analyzing media will make us able to understand things going on in the world to a better level. The fact that media portrays certain things in different ways also tells a lot about how much we know as viewers and what is being revealed and what isn’t.
My experience with the Break the VMAs project has been very eye opening because I’m really getting a closer look at the different themes presented in the videos such as gender, class, and race; themes that are crucial in understanding our society. Based on these music videos, I then had to create different questions or prompts about the important themes shown throughout the videos. The process made me understand the themes better and I was able to find things to question that I probably would not have noticed before, when I just watch the videos once for entertainment. Different videos had different themes, for example in the videos Bad Blood by Taylor Swift and Anaconda by Nicki Minaj, there was a lot to question based on gender roles but in Kendrick Lamar’s Alright video, there was more to question based on race.
Breaking these music videos was a very fun experience. However, I learned that before doing a remix, you need to understand Fair Use, in order to stay within your rights as a free speaking individual sharing your ideas about the way media presents these videos. Doing research before making the remix is also something crucial in order to make the best, most factual remix possible. There were definitely times where I did not understand something shown in the video and so I felt it necessary to look it up. Creating the remix using MediaBreaker was mostly an enjoyable experience and required a lot of focus in order for the clips and writing to match up well. Thankfully, when I needed help with the tool, Zen, the Education Associate at The LAMP, was extremely helpful and I learned a lot from her. Overall, I was really happy how the video turned out. I feel that breaking videos not only helps the viewers understand the video and the themes included in the video better, but makes us question what media is out there in a fun way.
I really enjoyed my whole experience working at The LAMP and I hope to go back for another project in the future.
– Serena Aimen