ANIMATING FEMINISM PAST AND PRESENT
Vanessa Cambier (United States of America)
1 – University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Vanessa Cambier is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on the intersections between feminist activism, experimental animation, and feminist film studies. She is the assistant editor of the journal Cultural Critique.
In this paper, I examine two animated films, Kelly Gallagher’s From Ally to Accomplice (2015) and Sally Cruikshank’s Make Me Psychic (1978). On the surface, these two films seemingly have very little in common. Gallagher’s film is an overtly political essay in three parts that uses animated collage, experimental film techniques, and historical recordings by poet Marilyn Buck to argue about the importance of being an ally against racism. Cruikshank’s film is a surreal and psychedelic work of cel animation telling the story of an anthropomorphic duck who gains the power of mind control after purchasing a strange device. These two films, I argue, help navigate a position in between the universal “feminine” perspective often sought by early feminist film scholars and the very particular experiences recently highlighted by movements like #metoo and #timesup. Gallagher’s historical film deals with the spacial politics of the public while Cruikshank’s addresses the interior and domestic also creating a point of convergence between public and private space. My central argument is that feminism and animation need to be read in consequent of one another so that we might cultivate the unknown potentials of feminist representation.