ANIMAFEST PRO | ANIMAFEST SCANNER VII | SYMPOSIUM FOR CONTEMPORARY ANIMATION STUDIES | Panel 2 - WOMEN IN ANIMATION
Women in Balkan Animation - Mina Sablić Papajić (MA in Cultural Studies, Belgrade, Serbia)
An insight into animated Balkan scene shows that women are increasingly present as important film authors. Their visual and narrative expression, as well as the topics they choose, indicates that the women authors create a strong “feminine side of animation“.
This research will give an overview of contemporary animated Balkan scene, focusing on key topics, and the ways women “talk“ about them. The diversity of the author’s expression goes from movies with pronounced feminist discourse to those that imitate previously established gender stereotypes. A more narrow focus will be given to those films that directly relate to the female point of view, or “experience of being female.“
When discussing contemporary female animation, the historical context of animated film in the Balkans (primarily in Yugoslavia) cannot be neglected. Predominantly composed of male authors, classical Balkan animation (Zagreb film school) established standards of animation quality, but also important topics and dramaturgical patterns, and thus a specific portrayal of female characters. In traditional animation, women's bodies were not just subject to objectification, but also subjects of endless transformations, as well as colors, shapes, backgrounds, and other visual elements.
Manipulation with the human body is of special interest because it can give a wide range of body representation politics. The Body is an important ground for “cultural battles”, and when female authors deal with the bodies, it is also a question of ideology. Therefore, the special focus of this work will be on the representative examples of contemporary female animated films that redefine the gender canons of classic Balkan animation and representation of women.
Mina Sablić Papajić is screenwriter and dramaturge. She works as a program editor and selector of European Animated Film Festival Balkanima. Mina is associate screenwriter for two professional animation studios based in Belgrade (To Blink Animation, Spring Onion). Currently, she is working on her PhD thesis on the subject of Yugoslav animated film. She is a member of the Association of Drama Artists of Serbia (UDUS).