An International Gathering

London, 12-13 June. The Essay Film Form and Animation: Intersectionality in Motion (2-day Conference – CAPA – Kensington).

This has been a great two-day gathering! The delegates arrived early and full of beans. Coffee, Tea and a variety of pies, cakes and biscuits awaited the gang.



We opened with a fantastic paper by Nuria Simelio Sola (Autonomous University of Barcelona) and Maria Forga (University of Vic, Barcellona): ‘The Portrayal of Social Class and Gender and the Recovery of Historical Memory in the Spanish Animated Documentaries ‘Bunuel en el Aberinto de las Tortugas’ and ’30 Anos de Oscuridad’.



Next, we continued with Susan Young (Royal College of Art, London) with the powerful ‘Using Animated Autoethnography to Resist and Reframe Psychiatric Othering and Iatrogenic Harm’. And Laura-Beth Cowley with ‘Show me what you’ve got: The Making of Video a multi-sensory and multi-purpose research method.’




Sally Pearce (Wolverhampton University) presented the compelling paper ‘Subversive Claustrophobic Spaces in Woman’s Animated Autobiography’, and Sabina Shah (University of Manchester) the innovative paper ‘Representation of the Muslim Female in Animation: Intersectionality in Practice’.





We continued with the screening of the impactful films by Faiyaz Jafri, and his paper ‘The Illusion of Destruction’ (Parsons School of Design and Queens College, New York), and Samantha Langsdale (University of North Texas) with the compelling paper ‘ You are like me: Intersectionality Strengths and Weaknesses in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)’.





We concluded our first day with Marc Bosward (University of Derby) with the paper ‘Dark Fringes: Complexity and Emergence in Realist Collage’, and the screening of fantastic work by Andy Holden.


This was a brisk morning in London. Our second day started with a discussion led by the animators and scholars Samantha Moore (Manchester School of Art) and Lizzy Hobbs (Anglia Ruskin University and UAL), supported by producer Abigail Addison (Director of Animate Project Agency): ‘Dismantling the Happiness Machine’. Followed the screening of Sam’s and Lizzy’s amazing short films!



We had the great pleasure to have animator and experimental filmmaker Honger Lang with us, who presented the paper entitled: ‘Personal Artistic Narratives functioning as a basis for Antithesis to Consumerism, Capitalism, and Corporate Control’. We only wish we had more time to dedicated to his work, as the discussion that followed engrossed and inspired many of us!




We were so lucky to have our keynote speaker, Annabelle Honess Roe, with us during the entire conference! Annabelle answered an endless list of questions, provocations graciously, and debated several teasing arguments.
We could not have been luckier!
Especially interesting in her speech was her discussion of animation as a form and the references to critical theory in film studies, especially the work of Laura Rascaroli on the essay film.



We continued with two of the most intriguing and experimental papers presented. Frank Gessner (Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf) with ‘From Assisi after Padua * Atelier Berlin Manifesto’, and Richard Wright (Filmmaker and Digital Animator) with ‘Recording thought, Thinking about Records: Notes on Animation and Other Media in the Essay film’.





We completed the event with artist Andy Holden, who presented his new essay film. Bartek Dziadosz chaired the round table with Andy and offered us a great occasion to wrap up the two-day conference with plenty of further debating and reflecting on the essay film form and animation.



Thank you, everybody! It has been such a great pleasure.

More soon…


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