ANIMAFEST SCANNER IX | SYMPOSIUM FOR CONTEMPORARY ANIMATION STUDIES | PANEL 3 GENDER AND DIVERSITY
“I’M NOT A FEMINIST, I’M A CARTOONIST” (Visual Humour as a Means of Articulating the Demand for Equality) - Midhat Ajanović (Lecturer/Researcher, University West, Trollhättan, Sweden)
PANEL 3: GENDER AND DIVERSITY
08/06 WED 14:00-14:30
Since the 1970s Western animation in general, and Canadian and British animation in particular, has distinguished itself by dealing with troubling issues like unemployment, marital violence, the Holocaust, racial prejudice and so on. As a manifest example of that trend my aim is to highlight the question of equality between the sexes that was raised in great numbers of cartoons, comics and animated films mainly made by female authors. However, the practice of consciousness raising animation has not only remained on feminism but is continuously evolving and expanding in the age of digitally produced and distributed animated pictures. A kind of postfeminist visual humour has flourished in Scandinavia during this century. The works of neo-feminist authors are characterized by the absence of conflict and rebellion against male standards and values, a demand for freedom and gender equality. Equality is no longer a goal but a starting point for neo-feminist authors who now openly and much more freely than ever before their male counterparts present and discuss their own sexuality and describe and comment on their relationship with men. The neo-feminist wave significantly expands the thematic areas that cartoon, comics and animation but also literature or film. They did it by introducing previously untouched areas and enriching the formal means of expression and genre capacity. The interest of these authors in the study of both contemporary and historical and social themes refracted through the prism of individual existence is particularly noticeable interest for people outside of the heterosexual norm.
Midhat Ajanović Ajan is a writer and film scholar born in Sarajevo (Bosnia) in 1959. He studied journalism in Sarajevo and practiced film animation in Zagreb film Studio of Animation (Croatia). Since 1994 he is living in Gothenburg (Sweden) where he obtained a degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Film Studies. He teaches storytelling, history, and aesthetics of cinema animation at University West in Trollhättan and writes regularly about film and animation. He has published many books in various genres and in several languages, including novels and several books that deal with history and theory of animation, film and comics. The 20th World Festival of Animated Film – Animafest Zagreb awarded him with its Award for Outstanding Contribution to Animation Studies in 2010.