The Art of Czech Animation - A History of Political Dissent and Allegory
Researcher: Dr Adam Whybray
The Art of Czech Animation is the first comprehensive English language account of Czech animation from the 1920s to the present, covering both 2D animation forms and CGI, with a focus upon the stop-motion films of Jirí Trnka, Hermína Týrlová, Jan Švankmajer and Jirí Barta.Stop-motion is a highly embodied form of animation and The Art of Czech Animation develops a new materialist approach to studying these films. Instead of imposing top-down Film Theory onto its case studies, the book's analysis is built up from close readings of the films themselves, with particular attention given to their non-human objects. In a time of environmental crisis, the unique way Czech animated films use allegory to de-centre the human world and give a voice to non-human aspects of the natural world points us towards a means by which culture can increase ecological awareness in viewers. Such a refutation of a human-centred view of the world was contrary to communist orthodoxy and it remains so under late-stage consumer-cap.