The Nina Paley Show! Sunday, November 7, 2004

Nina's animation retrospective PLUS her 1997 appearance on the Jerry Springer Show. At the Two Boots Pioneer Theater, November 7th, 2004... 7:00pm

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Brad Neely's Bible History

To everyone who keeps asking why don't I do cartoons about Jesus or whatever Abrahamic whatnots, the answer is, how could I top this? Enjoy!

Big ups to Parsons student Shanna, who turned me on to this.

Monday, April 23, 2007

ASIFA-East Animation Festival

THE New York animation event.
Sunday May 6, 6pm
Parsons Tishman Auditorium
66 W. 12th Street, NYC
As always, the event is free and open to the public. They'll be showing my newest Sita chapter, Agni Pariksha.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Art and Responsibility

Some critics have said that making my movie "as a white, American woman" I have a "responsibility" to locate the work within a history of colonialist oppression account for my white privilege bla bla bla zzzzz. Yes, it's White Man's Burden all over again. So I'd like to get clear on what an artist's responsibility is:

An artist's responsibility is to be true to their own vision.

In other words, to be honest. That's it.

Ironically, but not surprisingly, similarly well-intentioned guardians of culture are also trying to dictate Indian artists' responsibility. I recently received a very nice email from an artist studying in Mumbai, who wrote
There is a great deal of emphasis here of being true to our Indian roots and integrating that Indian-ness into our work here. honestly I'm a little tired of it.

I saw the same thing when I taught animation in Nairobi. UNESCO, who sponsored the program, wanted the partcipants to create animation that was "authentically African." My feeling was that anything they made would be authentically African, because they were authentic Africans. But UNESCO wanted their work to "look African", be based on traditional folklore, set in rural villages, etc. All this in 2004, in a big city, working on computers - many of the participants were understandably looking away from rural villages and towards the rest of the world. That's what artists do, and it's just as authentic as looking at your roots.

It's great when an artist's vision dovetails with an honorable social cause, and is naturally politically correct. I'm as eager to see homegrown Indian animation about Indian history and folklore as anyone. I'm also eager to see Indian, African, rest-of-the-world-ian animation about every other conceiveable subject - as long as it's honest. My Mumbai penpal articulated it well:
I share your opinion about the integration of identity in our work through honesty of thought. It also ensures the fact that the end result is truer to the context than the other more contrived one.

Meanwhile, I try to remember this:
...forgive us our criticisms
As we forgive those who critique against us