Teenage Pastime

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Teenage Pastime

by Natalie Minik
Southern Cultures, Vol. 20, No. 2: Summer 2014

"When the unlimited energy of adolescence comes to bear on the limited experience of childhood, the results often swing toward one of the poles - an enthusiastic confirmation of the culture a child grew into or a bold rejection of the culture they grew out of."

We devote our teenage years, perhaps more than any others, to asserting an identity. When the unlimited energy of adolescence comes to bear on the limited experience of childhood, the results often swing toward one of two poles—an enthusiastic confirmation of the culture a child grew into or a bold rejection of the culture they grew out of. I wanted to explore the South through its teenagers, especially those caught in the gray area between affirming and questioning their roles in the places they occupy. This ambiguous personal space resonated particularly well in the evolving suburban landscape of the Georgia piedmont, a place undergoing its own transitions and forging a southern identity beyond the agrarian stereotype often associated with the region. The affects of boredom, uncertainty, and restlessness are perhaps natural to this stage of life when one is negotiating where one stands. It is a position that is difficult to outgrow and easy to empathize with. The series “Teenage Pastime” was produced in 2009.