Collaborating with filmmakers Lexi Leban and Lidia Szajko of Critical Images, Inc. (creators of the film Girl Trouble) and with staff and youth from the Center for Young Women’s Development (CYWD), media artist Shivaun Nestor created www.girltrouble.org, a Website incorporating the online game, “Caught Up.” The Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) assisted with project completion.
“Caught Up” provides visitors with a sense of what life is like for girls trapped in the juvenile justice system. Visitors take the role of “Everygirl,” entering a universe of situations and choices common to these young women. At each decision point, players find video clips of young women featured in the documentary, links to writing and artwork created by girls who have been incarcerated, and at least two choices. At rare crossroads, “Everygirl” is offered alternatives to the system. While an outgrowth of the film Girl Trouble, the Website and game stand on its own as a media piece.
With the artists present, senior CYWD staff members led workshops in which young women wrote storylines for the piece. CYWD staff members also planned and gave feedback on Website sections. Ms. Nestor designed the graphic interface and navigational structure. Critical Images, Inc. provided content and executed production of the site.
Shivaun Nestor is a film producer, art director, freelance media artist and graphic designer with extensive experience designing Websites. “Caught Up” gave her an opportunity to work at a larger scale.
Filmmakers Lexi Leban and Lidia Szajko founded Critical Images to raise public awareness of what is happening to poor and young women of color who have been institutionalized. Girl Trouble was the organization’s first work.
The Center for Young Women’s Development provides gender specific, peer based opportunities for high-risk low- and no-income young women to build healthier lives and healthier communities.