Eastern European Animation Between Art and Politics, 1945-1990

Though commonly regarded as an apolitical medium, Eastern European animated film between 1945 and 1990 in fact manifests intense engagement in social and political critique. Its creators responded to major historical events such as WWII, the Soviet and Polish Thaw, the Czechoslovak “normalization” and the fall of the Iron Curtain. On a day-to-day level, animated film of this era provides social commentary on the changing perspectives on environmentalism, gender and family relations, socialist urban space, and technology, thus forming a unique documentation on the textures of everyday life under communism across the region. This project contributes to the fields of animation studies and Eastern European cultural studies by analyzing the phenomenon of animation at a juncture of art, politics and history.
The aim of this project is to explore the specifics of animation spectatorship within the constraints of the everyday life in countries of the Eastern Bloc. In addition to a variety of aesthetic and stylistic approaches that emerged in Soviet, Polish and Czechoslovak animated films, I examine spectatorial experience and expectations as a reception process shaped by two contradictory purposes: by the state-ordained didactic function of the medium, and, at the same time, by the medium’s subversive, politically critical role. I argue that the cultural functions of Eastern European animation differed from the role of this medium in particular in the U.S. and in Western Europe, which I demonstrate on several levels: the spectatorship modes, the centralized economical and political arrangement of the animated film industry, the region- and culture-specific aesthetic choices and techniques, and finally the geopolitical circumstances of production, distribution and reception.

Rogoff, Jana Dr. (Details) (Ostslawische Literaturen und Kulturen)

DFG: Eigene Stelle (Sachbeihilfe)

Projektstart: 10/2018
Projektende: 09/2021


Zuletzt aktualisiert 2022-07-09 um 19:06