4: Transforming Tales: Visual Storytelling

See: Assignment 4: A Working Draft (forthcoming 2021)

The second stage of my exploration looks in detail at issues in ‘creative translation’ in terms of both alternative narrative strategies and stylistic treatment. Building on the drawing styles developed in Assignment 3, I produce a series of contrasting narrative ‘translations’ in different graphic and narrative styles.

I focus on three creative narrative translation sets (9 short animations) around the theme of contrasts between women and men’s visions and dreams and the ways they become caught in cycles not only of poverty, but also addiction and violence.:

I base my translations on further semiotic and stylistic analysis of drawings and documentation from participatory workshops in India, Pakistan and Uganda. But in construction of translation narratives, I also draw on other contextual information from other community workshops and interviews and on-line documentary in producing series of animated narratives. In construction of translation style each set includes a version that animates the original drawings in some way, but also versions inspired by visual culture of the community and/or global animation and video.

1: Constructing narrative from community voices

2: Stories without words: narrative strategies and inspiration

Drawing on narrative theory in animation and film, particularly wordless storytelling techniques, I develop an experimental framework for generating alternative narrative around a theme. used by comic and animation illustrators, particularly Matt Maden’s ’99 ways to tell a story’. I look in detail at narrative strategies used by other illustrators and animators producing textless stories, particularly:

  • animators identified in Assignment 3 see: contemporary animation
  • Manga and anime
  • Tom Gould ‘Goliath’
  • Sequential drawings by Richard MacGuire

3: Transforming Tales:
Creative Translations

Each ‘translation set’ explores a range of options to see how different narrative approaches affect the ways in which community messages might be read. Sets of alternative stories experiment with different approaches to narrative: framing, composition, timing, sequencing and format and use of humour and shock techniques.

Pig Tales: India

Translation 1: Line drawing animation

Translation 2: inspired by Indian tribal art and Tom Gould’s Goliath

Translation 3: inspired by anime, particularly Princess Mononoke and Princess Sabuya

What happened to my airplane? women’s voices from Pakistan

Translation 1: Line drawing animation

Translation 2: Inspired by Afghan and Iranian gouache art

Translation 3: ‘Film Noir’ inspired by Persepolis, Hitchcock and Shirin Neshat

My wife doesn’t love me any more: Uganda

Translation 1: Line drawing animation

Translation 2: Geometric African silhouettes/Saul Bass

Translation 3: Toontastic

Audience consultation

Selected animations will be uploaded to a You Tube channel and embedded in this blog. Less ‘successful’ work will be placed in this blog or on my Adobe account and linked for reference.

These are then circulated and discussed with people on the ground through social network groups, to refine the most successful animations. In particular, how seriously the messages are taken as ‘community voices’ for advocacy.

For initial feedback from friends and colleagues in communities and organisations through social networks see: Assignment 4: A Working Draft (forthcoming 2021) and the final summary of longer term feedback, assessment and refinements in Assignment 5: Participatory VisCom Guidelines.(forthcoming 2021)