Animation, Beyond Juan Padrón

Animation, Beyond Juan Padrón
Fecha de publicación: 
14 July 2022
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It would be necessary to define the challenges, the obstacles and the achievements of audiovisual animation in Cuba. Because the scope is wide: animations made by children, thanks to the workshops offered by some institutions and groups, to professional production, children-oriented and also for adults. One thing has become clear: it’s necessary to go deeper into some of the boundaries of this topic, since in many there are dynamics, conflicts, and perspectives that deserve a specific debate.

The training of animators is one. If there’s a tradition in Cuba (and the imprint of the great Juan Padrón has been mentioned, for example, he is not the only one), if there’s a tradition, it’s alarming that there’s not a school, with an academy, although ICAIC Animation Studios represent a benchmark for creation.

But it’s necessary to formalize animation studies, assuming specializations, in film schools in Cuba. Empiricism should not be the only way. And the workshops, and creation groups... could be the source.

Another issue, which is particularly complex, since it often transcends the possibilities of institutions and creators: technological regeneration. It’s difficult to go in equal foot with the world in this regard because this is a poor country... and a blocked one (the blockade is not a common ground or a mere justification, as it might look to some). There are specific restrictions on the use of certain technology... and lack of funds to access others. The answer (which, of course, is not the only one) is creativity and commitment. But we must continue to explore alternatives.

In any case, technology should not be confused with art. One thing is the tool and another is what can be done with that tool.

And that connects with another topic: the aesthetic, conceptual values ​​of what’s done. This is a matter of supreme importance, and it’s not solved with just full access to technology. Culture is needed. Information. And of course, talent. There are inadequacies in the final product which are more related to the taste and skills of filmmakers than with the softwares they work with.

And this also has to do with the training, so we go back to the beginning. We need to break this cycle.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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