My animation research and experiments are practice-based, aiming to help me develop a coherent and distinctive ‘Zemni Voice’ and manageable workflow for my own independent animation practice.
All the animations in the portfolio aimed to clearly reflect, integrate and valorise ‘community voices’ as represented by drawings, photographs, video and other contextual material from participatory workshops on empowerment with women and men in:
The community voices in the research were selected from many other sets of primary resources from Asia, Africa and Latin America (see my professional blog: https://gamechangenetwork.org/) because of:
- the diversity, dynamism and narrative power of drawing styles.
- poignancy of the stories and relevance for a global audience.
- access to sufficient contextual resources – either my own or on-line to construct authentic narratives.
Through a ‘bricolage’ research process I identify a range of workable creative animation and moving image approaches and strategies combining digital and physical media that:
- are visually driven so that they can be globally understood without relying on text or spoken languages, and thereby needing translation into hundreds of local languages.
- communicate not only the style but also the meaning of the original sources.
- can be used by an independent animator like myself who does not have the support of a large design or animation team and/or budget.
Producing professional finished animations was outside the timeframe of this research. The aim was rather to develop an experimental portfolio based on/integrating the community workshop outputs including:
- different animation and moving image vignettes representing different approaches and interpretations as a basis for discussion with potential audiences/clients about their animation preferences and needs.
- specific combinations of moving image approaches to develop 1 minute documentary animation drafts and animatics appropriate to narratives suggested by the community workshops and/or my contextual documentation.
As an independent animator wishing primarily to produce my own animations alongside other professional and creative work while managing RSI, I was interested in exploring:
- visual narrative strategies for very short textless 1 minute animations, including animations that can be downloaded by viewers on mobile phone without the need for translation.
- ways of working with physical media: integrating drawing, painting, printmaking, photography and video.
- combining different digital software and techniques that could vary my computer work, including iPad, TVPaint, Adobe Animate, After Effects and Premiere.
I also needed to take an objective and long-term perspective to developing artistic and technical skills for animation work – and also keep an open mind as to whether my research would lead me to conclude that the tasks I set myself were not possible.
Animation from community drawings and sketches from role play and contextual photos by women and men in a Fair Trade coffee co-operative in Eastern Uganda. Draft Animatic January 2021.
‘Mary’s Story’: Experimental Vignettes
‘Tupa Tupa’: Experimental Vignettes
Role play photos by women and men in a Fair Trade Cooperative in DRCongo animated as cut-out puppets and collage/photo-montage in Procreate and Premiere. Future work will include collage stop motion, and digital puppet animation in Photoshop and After Effects.Sketchlog2_DRCongo
Animation possible opening clip
Women in a micro-finance programme in Pakistan draw their dreams, but also how many of them are driven to suicide by having too many children and violence and addiction of their husbands. The men also have dreams, but are trapped, leading to behaviour they are ashamed of.Sketchlog3_Pakistan