Sucht der Junger
Sehnsucht is a German noun translated as "longing", "yearning" and "craving," or in a wider sense a type of "intensely missing." However, Sehnsucht is difficult to translate adequately and describes a deep emotional state. Its meaning is somewhat similar to the Portuguese word saudade. The writer Georg Tabori called Sehnsucht one of those quasi-mystical terms in German for which there is no satisfactory corresponding term in another language. Sehnsucht is a compound word, originating from an ardent longing or yearning (das Sehnen) and addiction (die Sucht).
In the constricted universe of the at-risk kid, addiction and the issues of addiction, both socially and medically, are hard realities no one in this context can escape. They are ubiquitous to culture. Addiction in Germany is still addiction. Addiction in Texas is still addiction. The only variables are the degrees to which criminality is misinterpreted.
Sucht der Junge is not at-risk for addiction. He’s an addict. That is not how he sees himself. Does it matter how the kid sees himself. This one sees himself as a dancer.
In order to understand what the term at-risk means, we’ve frequently taken what already is, and we put a “might happen” tag on it. When, in fact, it can be a done deal by the time we get there.
At-risk for school failure cannot be applied to kids who have already failed at fitting into the system. Educational systems do not accommodate. They are inherently designed to discriminate.
At-risk for sexually transmitted disease cannot be applied to a kid who has HIV. That train left the station. As long as we fail to appropriately identify exactly who the kid is, we get to put his failures on him. At-risk for suggests that the kid can turn this around by himself, and when he can’t we can shrug and wash our hands of it.
At-risk for addiction cannot be applied to a kid who is already incarcerated by a court to a drug rehab program.
The kids are already there. By throwing around the term “at-risk,” we are perpetuating a denial the kid is already aware of and the adult wishes could be treated and shoved under the rug.
It’s not that simple. It is the stuff of adolescence to question everything. To create their own tribes.
I have been working with Sucht der Junge for eight months, now. This is the video we have to show for it because at some point with a video you have to be able to put it down and say: this is the best I can do.
Adults won’t like it. The testosterone level alone is off the charts. In real unconscious ways, adults will feel threatened by the muscular assertiveness in the dancing. It’s stylized, but not in ways adults are used to seeing dance. It’s not exactly the video I would have made. I can have some influence. But the fundamentals belong to them. It’s not about me. I am sick and tired of people assuming it is about me. It is about THEM. Get a fucking clue. It’s not about my world. It’s about kids at-risk. It’s about the challenges they face. It’s about the kid constructing a picture that speaks to the story that is his life.
I don’t know what Sucht der Junge is at-risk for. Maybe everything. There are quite a few people who would like a piece of it.
I would argue that it’s the culture that is at-risk.
But no matter what, the kid simply seems to keep on dancing. Show me your life.
WARNING: Explicit Imagery and Colloquial Language
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
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