LIAF (London International Animation Festival); Barbican Gallery, London

Can Animation Ever be of Social, Cultural and Historical Importance?

Sounds a bit like a dissertation, huh? As many of you who have clicked this are probably already BIG fans of animation there is one sentence that constantly recurs “Animation?What cartoons?? Aren’t those for kids?”

What if Animation was to be placed in a different setting? A big important culture museum like the Barbican? A scion for all things artist, art-related and for helping the current translate into historical- is animation still for kids now?

Yet the facts are Animation has looong been thought of as “low culture”, even good ol’ Walt Disney’s breakthrough into the powerhouse that is Hollywood Cinema hardly brought about a great cultural change. Whilst some may argue Pixar are trying to treat the format with more delicacy and nuance, allowing the medium to relate to cross-cultural, cross-generational audiences.. We are still left with a pervading half-truth: ANIMATION (both 2D and 3D) are for the eyes and interest of CHILDREN.

I call it half-truth because as we all know those who play games are increasingly getting older. Even I have been re-introduced to a love of gaming thanks to a wider circle of friendship (that and my boyfriend is a fierce gamer I must adapt to survive!).

2012 Logo. A bit bland after last years right?

LIAF 2012 Trailer

For comparisons sake the 2011 poster for London International Animation Festival.

But since 2003 LIAF or London International Animation Festival have been trying to this popular misconception. From the 23rd of October their annual 10-day Festival will begin!!! Gala Premieres, Q&A’s with industry professionals, workshops, retrospectives and so much more. Their is even an interactive element to the festival featuring audience voting for the BEST OF THE FESTIVAL SCREENING.

In addition, the dedicated team at LIAF hope that from this year their hard-work becomes something more significant than a 10 day run. They hope to programme more events, tours, screenings and even masterclasses on a year-round basis. That should excite any budding animators creative tastebuds.

So seriously from the 23/10/12 – the 4/11/12 there is only one place a true lover of Animation should be and that is at The Barbican in London.

Tickets and Venue information can be found here:

I would encourage all fellow students to badger their University Departments to help with the funding I know it’s not cheap but by heck is it worth it!

Be sure to check out their website and have a look at the shorts that are up for awards/voting at:


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