Animation and Trauma; Participatory Stop-Frame Animation in Clinical and Community Settings.

 

This series of online workshops will explore the use of stop-frame animation and story-making in a variety of settings. They will each explore how this method fits into current trauma theories including the work of Janina Fisher, Besel Van Der Kolk, Dick Shwartz's Internal Family Systems, and the writings of Arthur Frank.

We will look at how the animation process opens up a series of storytelling opportunities and possibilities that go beyond verbal narrative, namely

  • It is a physical, hands-on process (Embodied Narrative).

  • It gives order to a chaotic/traumatic narratives.

  • It requires attention and the need for being present moment by moment (Dual Awareness).

  • It is a process that gives control to the storyteller and directorial authority (Re-storying).

  • It is a transformative and aesthetic process. The story changes through the process.

  • Whatever we bring to the table; fear, shame or a sense of inadequacy we can alchemise in this process by including these parts/traits as characters in the drama of the narrative.

  • The final film can provide an enduring account that can be shared and witnessed repeatedly and beyond the context in which it was made.

 

 

You will need a basic understanding of stop motion animation before you start the workshop. However the workshop includes some video tutorials which you will have access to from when you sign up. You could also book a 1:1 session with me for an hour or two if you want to familiarise yourself with the software beforehand or sign up for a take away course.

1. ‘Animated Memoirs and Embodied Narratives’ Saturday 22nd January 10.00-5.00pm. (note new date)

Sometimes puppets need to be held and stroked into consciousness, into breathing, into being before they can start to tell their story.
Stop-frame animation is a form of embodied narrative, of story making as much as telling.
This is what makes it such a powerful medium in which to approach difficult and traumatic narratives. The stories are told and made via our hands, our bodies, the puppets and the process itself. As we know our traumas (small and large) reside as much in our bodies as our minds.
In this workshop we start with our own memoirs, at least the small, everyday micro narratives.

This one day workshop will give an overview of using animation and story-making in various settings from an experiential, theoretical, practical and trauma-informed perspective. It starts with the premise that to work with other people's stories it is a good idea to work with your own as well.

It will explore the idea and practice of working with personal stories safely and the concept of embodied narrative, ie telling a story through the physical means of making (story-making).

 

 

 

 

The Workshop will include;

  • Stop-frame and puppet making video tutorials.

  • A Kit List of materials and devices you will need.

  • A tutorial on making simple claymation puppets

  • A presentation the trauma theories and approaches that support this work.

  • Some group work and discussion.

  • You will be given storymaking and animation tasks on the day.

  • Time for you to explore your own making and animating.

  • Lo-tech experimentation and play.

     

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2. 'Angermation; Animating Revenge, Violence and Traumatic Events'. Saturday March 19th 2022 10.00-5.00pm. (note new date)

Animation is a largely safe, yet powerful medium in which to explore feelings and fantasies of rage, violence and revenge for participants (and ourselves). In this workshop we will be digging a little deeper. What is it like to animate scenes of revenge and violence and how do we keep things safe? What is like to animate a traumatic event? How do we not trigger a re-traumatisation?

"as important as it is to acknowledge the past, it is even more crucial for traumatised individuals to stay connected to present time."  (Fisher)


We will be thinking about Janina Fisher's idea of dual awareness and the importance of staying in the present moment particularly when recounting a traumatic event. Because animation is so methodical in its frame by frame process it helps keep participants focused. It also brings some order to what Arthur Frank calls 'chaotic narratives'.

The Workshop will include;

  • Stop-frame and puppet making video tutorials (which you can keep).

  • A Kit List of materials and devices you will need.

  • A tutorial on making simple claymation (or 2d) puppets

  • A presentation on the trauma theories and approaches that support this work.

  • Some group work and discussion.

  • You will be given storymaking and animation tasks on the day.

  • Time for you to explore your own making and animating.

  • Lo-tech experimentation and play.

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3. 'Animating the Inner Critic and Other Child Parts' Saturday (date to be confirmed). (note change of date)
I have noticed participants will often form a relationship with the puppets they make of their child selves and will sometimes even display empathy and compassion towards these parts.

Trauma theories such as 'Internal Family Systems' and Janina Fisher's model 'Trauma-Informed Stabilisation Treatment' has recognised the importance of empathy and compassion towards these 'child parts', even and particularly the ones that are difficult and destructive.
We will look at how animation is a practical and powerful way to externalise, make sense of and animate these parts.

The Workshop will include;

  • Stop-frame and puppet making video tutorials (which you can keep).

  • A Kit List of materials and devices you will need.

  • A tutorial on making simple claymation (or 2d) puppets

  • A presentation on the trauma theories and approaches that support this work.

  • Some group work and discussion.

  • You will be given storymaking and animation tasks on the day.

  • Time for you to explore your own making and animating.

  • Lo-tech experimentation and play.

The Full Course of Workshops

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Each workshop will be standalone so you can do just one (£75) or if you want to do all 3 workshops and immerse yourself in this wonderful medium the price will be discounted at £200 for all 3 and will also include up to an hour of 1:1 support/mentoring from me .

KIT LIST

 

ESSENTIAL ITEMS

You need a tablet (Apple Ipad or Android) or at a pinch a smart phone (quite fiddly but possible), a tripod and a holder to connect the device to the tripod.

The app. you need is called Stop Motion Studio and you can get the free one or the pro (I recommend the pro) in an app store.

Information here https://www.cateater.com/

Tripod and Holder

You will need a tripod and something that connects that to your phone or tablet. This doesn’t need to be expensive.

Something like this includes both tripod and holder for a tablet;

https://bit.ly/3ciecNZ  or this if you have a tripod https://bit.ly/3eMRwr1

For a phone, tripod and holder;

https://bit.ly/2XgVcez or https://bit.ly/3exjbMn

​Modelling Clay (Plasticine)

There are 2 types of plasticine I recommend;

Newplast is the traditional one and comes in lots of different colours, it can get a bit hard and crumbly with various colours but you just need to warm it up in the sun or with a hair dryer. If it gets too soft put it in the fridge.

You can get from ebay here https://bit.ly/2TUcFYc

The other one I use is Giotto Patplume which is softer and oilier and richer colours…it is easier to make things with but tends to be a little bit soft when animating and falls apart quite quickly.

However, this pack is a good way to try it out https://amzn.to/2Ml8Ir3

You can also use ordinary clay though it will dry out quite quickly unless you keep it moist with water or oven dry clay is also possible and doesn’t dry out. These options are fine if you don’t want the rather garish colours that plasticine comes in.

​These things are useful too

Sculpting/Molding tools https://bit.ly/307j6Lp

Masking Tape

Acrylic paint, crayons etc.

Craft knife

Pencils pens etc.

Paper (different colours, sizes and thickness)