Combining research methods (ethnography, qualitative and quantitative research, and interviews) with illustration and animation can create powerful narratives that amplify marginalised voices. I have created four documentary animations – two as personal projects and two in partnership, first with the University of Liverpool and then with Goldsmiths, University of London.
Flying While Fat
This animation incorporates the voices of research participants explaining their experiences of air travel as plus-sized passengers. The animation exhibited at the Tate Gallery and Bluecoat Centre in Liverpool and premiered at Liverpool’s Deaf and Disability Arts Festival. It was received positively by the press and brought the topic in front of an audience of over 2 million.
It’s Only Hair
This animation, a collaboration with Dr. Emma Tarlo (Goldsmiths, Anthropology) focuses on the experiences and coping mechanisms of young people with hair loss. Based on interviews conducted for Dr. Tarlo’s prize-winning book, Entanglement: The Secret Lives of Hair, this animation premiered at the exhibition “Hair! Human Stories” in June 2018 at the Library Space in Battersea, London.
Yoga for Larger Bodies
This documentary animation explores the origins of London’s only Plus-Sized Yoga class and was created as part of my Visual Anthropology course at Goldsmiths, University of London.
VJ’s Fat Experience
In this animation, VJ narrates a story from her childhood, explaining what she learned about life when her loving mother was forced, at risk of losing the public assistance she required, to send VJ away at 10 years old to an inpatient facility based on negative assumptions about her size. VJ’s story was recorded live in 2006 during a 2 month road trip I took to interview women in the US about their experiences of fatness, from childhood to adulthood. This animation is my first attempt at the whiteboard style. Notably, it was picked up within 24 hours of launch by Jezebel and the Huffington Post. It also earned over 55,000 views in its first 48 hours, cementing my view of Whiteboard animation as a powerful medium which aids in carrying viewers through difficult and/or complex narratives.