Animation remains associated with a childish innocence, which strips it of the sophistication automatically relegated to film. Yet, throughout the 20th century, animation has been used to communicate and comment on social and political events and on society’s hopes and fears. Thanks to its very association with childhood, animation has often been overlooked by official censorship in dictatorial regimes, which has allowed it to retain a freedom of artistic expression unique to its form.
This freedom from the censor’s eye could be the reason that animation is still going strong in New East countries. Yet, despite critical claim, Oscar nominations, and screenings at international film festivals, animation still lacks wide exposure. East Life, Animated goes one step towards helping New East animation reach a broader audience.
The selected animations come from countries across the New East, from Hungary and Bulgaria to Russia and Serbia. Together, they explore social and political issues of migration, political demonstrations, identity crises, events linked to WWII, and the Yugoslavian past.
East Life, Animated screened eight New East short films on 19 April 2017 at Calvert 22.