Teen Zoned

Title: Teen Zoned

Artists in Residence: Susan Attafuah-Callender, Julian Duarte, Olivia Siino,

Placement: YMCA Pointe Saint Charles Teen Zone


The piece aims to explore the issues of vulnerability as well as the struggles that were present within the triad that made up our placement: the Teen Zone supervisors, the teens and ourselves (the artists).

At the center of this triad is intention: intentions to care, to provide, to belong. It is the journey to the center – to the point of assembly – that makes us face all that may mar advance on all parts: insecurities, intolerance, a harsh environment, anxiety, impatience, social and economic barriers. This journey is what we hoped to represent in our piece.

We used games to symbolize the risk that comes with moving towards community, at times punctuated with backlash and at times with reward. Each movement in our performance was bound together through the rhythm of the games we played and the songs we made. We used the cup song to display how easy it can be to slip away from the magic feeling of cohesiveness in a community and how essential it is to always strive for that connection. The rhythmic nature underscored the moments of harmony and connectedness, while quieter moments shone a light on difficulties.

Overall, we wanted to create art that would give back to the community we had experienced and learned so much from.