i adore adoreadore the fact that the four main characters of skam are so significant for teen culture of this day? as a teacher in secondary school, these are genuinely teenagers’ struggles that i’ve seen in everyday life.
with eva, we saw the loneliness and loss of identity of teenagers (specifically girls!) within a peer culture that requires a lot of social interaction: you need to “know” where your place is and that is your identification; through dating, but also through friendships. but, as eva said, maybe it’s okay that she doesn’t know right now, and that she has to find it.. on her own. one of her biggest strengths in the end is how honest she has become; with herself and with others.
with noora, we see a character who explicitely identifies herself as feminist and finds a lot of value in being morally upright. but what happens when situations aren’t as black and white as we think they are? moreover, what happens to a girl who has been sexually harassed, and violated, possibly even raped? noora shows us that at the very least, it is important to communicate with people about your experiences to be able to get through those horrible experiences, even if it is only a little bit.
with isak, we delve into the psyche of a lgbt+ teenager who has seen representations of lgbt+ culture in the media and has enormous difficulties with identifying himself as such. but his story doesn’t end there even though other shows might have stopped there; his misconceptions about religion (god doesn’t exist!!) and mental illness (i don’t want them around/ they are crazy) are real thoughts that go through people’s heads (especially in western culture). these are all perceptions that are formed by society, but it is important that isak was never demonised for these ideas; through communication with different kinds of people he got educated on things he thought he knew about and that changed him into the mature person he is now.
and now, with sana, a muslimah with one leg in the Western culture and one in her religion which is seen as “unwestern” by many who critique it, has the time come to delve into a deeper understanding of those who experience (daily?) hatred in their lives through media and society. once again, communication seems at a forefront: “don’t let me be misunderstood” – listen to my experiences, to my life, to my explanations. she has been so infallible before, that it will be interesting to see what is going to be her challenge in her season; a character who is so focused on being right in everything she does – i think her unintentionally making a mistake having an effect on her and the people around her would be an excellent story.
i guarantee that this series will have a long lasting effect on how teenagers, and people, are going to view each other in the long run. media teaches us to be afraid of each other; skam is that small light that shows there is more than fear.
there’s also love. in compassion, in understanding, in educating.
and i can’t wait to look back on it all and say: you know, that norwegian series for teenagers in 2015? i felt validated, i felt heard, i felt loved by that series. i’m gonna show my love in return to other people. because we have learned something from it.