Sat Jul 31 | 9 pm

Media Art Screening | SUM & Sun Wah 268 Keefer Rooftop

Curated by QAF Associate Artistic Director Fergie and Programs Coordinator Ben!  Rooftop screening of edutainment for the pandemic — very queer and rather green short films.

Animation and environmentalism share a more than passing connection for many of us. From celebrated ecocentric blockbusters like Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke and Pixar’s WALL-E to popular children’s programming such as Captain Planet and The Lorax, environmental protection is a memorable recurring theme within the medium for multiple generations. As a message, environmentalism presents an approachable moral framework for education and entertainment; the earth is beautiful and sacred and those who wish it harm must be challenged because hurting the planet hurts us all. These programs told us to hold ‘eco-villains’ responsible, and fight for the planet and the little guy. They taught us that we were ‘the little guy’. Both timeless and timely, it is a vital concern to implant in the minds of future generations, and the fact this message is frequently brought to life through the medium of animation feels incidental yet brimming with significance.

Recently animation and queerness have been dancing a similar dance, repeating motions inherited from their environmentalist predecessors. Likewise brought together by radical movements—both figurative and literal—queer animation garners the attention of an accepting audience with a timely message rooted in progressivism and compassion. Viewing such lessons through the lens of queerness, our generation saw that queerness was a fight against the same cruel forces that sought to destroy the earth. That we too could thrive and flower if we removed poisonous villains from the equation. After all, queers are beautiful and sacred and those who wish us harm must be challenged because hurting queers hurts us all. 

Further still, queer animation feels different, more synergistic, more compelling, more substantial. Some have argued that animation has always been queer, exhibiting a methodology compounded by the fluidity of a medium capable of unlimited orientation, by the immeasurable joy of saturated pigments in a hypercolour cornucopia, by the unmistakable touch of the human hand embodied within every frame. It expands us and imbuing animation with joyous queer futures is radical self love, a beautiful statement of queer justice. Queer animators ‘imagine, envision, and describe new ontologies and actively depict them in a way that demands participation’; animation becomes a group exercise, trusting in our ability to question and learn, apply learning, and share said learning. When we embrace the cartoonishly queer, we share in queer liberation.