Today was the first day of a brand new week at UPenn and I was excited to begin the new Justice and Identity theme that we will be following from now through Friday. We have a few international guests visiting this week, and today Filip Kovacevic introduced us to Political Street Theater and discussed youth activism with us. I thoroughly enjoyed his discussion, although there were a bunch of controversial ideas that he presented. Even so, I felt that I agreed with many of his ideals but I still think it will be hard for them to be implemented.
He began with his lecture by reviewing the two books we read yesterday (Crack Capitalism and An Essay on Liberation). From there he continued on with a brief description of his home country, Montenegro, and then explained how the youth there use theater to convey their political concerns. I really enjoyed this topic because I think it is a really creative and effective way for the youth to peacefully express their ideas. We were able to watch a few clips of these protests and they were definitely something to look up to. I'm not sure if this activity is occurring in America, but if we were to do this I think the young people of this country would feel much more empowered. It's something to think about.
During the second portion of class we broke up into two groups, one went outside and the other stayed indoors with air conditioning! I was in the group that decided to stay inside and I loved the small group discussion we had for the next two hours. Michael was with us during this time, but he allowed and encouraged us to guide the conversation. We discussed a number of topics from the rise of the human population to creating more localized economies throughout America. We also discussed how it would be possible to close the gap between the rich and the impoverished so was interesting to hear a foreign perspective from the Chinese students because they had first-hand knowledge of the class differences in China. I wish the whole class could have been a part of this discussion, but it was even more engaging with a smaller amount of people in the room. I had more opportunities to speak and I voiced my opinions more frequently. This class is so wonderful; I cannot believe I am able to learn among such brilliant students and professors. They have such a wealth of knowledge that I am thrilled to share and contribute to over the next three weeks.