The Conference will be held on Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th June 2019
at the Derek Jarman Lab, London – CAPA
146 Cromwell Rd, Kensington, London SW7 4EF
Animation has been used in film form for its ability to illustrate, clarify, intensify, and focus the expression of feelings, emotions, processes, situations. In socially engaged films, animation supports and opens the debate of complex realities, which can be external or internal, like in I was the Child of Holocaust Survivors (Fleming, 2006), An Eyeful of Sound (Moore, 2010), Waltz with Bashir (Folman, 2008), and Tower(Maitland, 2012).
Paul Arthur notes “[g]alvanized by the intersection of personal, subjective and social history, the essay [film] has emerged as the leading nonfiction form for both intellectual and artistic innovation” (2003, p. 58). In this sense, essay films are hybrid, cross boundaries and often challenge our preconceptions of how to engage an audience. Essay films are also placed in a vital dialogue with how we understand the broader categories of ‘nonfiction’, ‘fiction’ and ‘documentary’, especially in relation to deeply individual stories that might nevertheless resonate across social categories like class, race, gender and sexuality.
The conference wishes to develop these dialogues in specific relation to how the animated form mobilises or challenges ideas of the essay film. We, therefore, encourage submissions that engage with how animation represents complex and intersecting social issues and power relations. Major axes of social division in a given society at a given time operate not “as discrete and mutually exclusive entities, but build on each other and work together” (Collings and Bilge, 2016, p. 4). It is very challenging to convincingly visualise and configure these phenomena and how they intersect. But animation seems perfectly placed to rise to this challenge, due to its hybrid, metamorphic and pervasive tendencies.