Subjects: Art, Animation, Peace-building, Interdisciplinarity, Art, Animation and Social Change, Collaborative art and animation, Participatory Animation, Participatory Art
Keywords: Practice led research, Art, Art and Animation, for Social Change, Animation, Peace-building, Anti-war Art, Peace-Art, Anti-war Animation, Peace-Animation, Participatory Animation, Animated Documentary, Experimental Animation
My research deals with art and in particular animation-art's potential to act to assist social change and peace-building processes. It examines the role of art and animation to affect positive change and improve communication paths between conflicting communities. To a great extent it is a continuation of research conducted during my PhD studies at the Glasgow School of Art (2009–2013), co-supervised by Prof. Greg Philo, Prof. Laura Gonzalez and Gillian Moffat - examined by Prof. Paul Wells. The PhD was an investigation into the potential of art and in particular of animation practice, to act as a tool for peacebuilding in 'post-conflict' areas such as Cyprus or N. Ireland. It was a cross-disciplinary, value-driven, practice-led inquiry, affiliated with the paradigm of constructivism and the approach of participatory action research. It triangulated the interchangeable qualitative methods of conflict case mapping and assessment, of questionnaires and of reflective animation practice to demonstrate that animation can indeed assist peace-building. The main fields of study that my inquiry dealt with were Art and Peace-Research. Key authors influencing the study included Johan Galtung, Elise and Kenneth Boulding, Carol Rank, Cynthia Cohen, Susan Sontag and Yiannis Papadakis. The values that drove the research derived from the paradigm of positive peace, developed by Galtung. They can be summarized as justice, equality, prosperity, non-violence, cooperation and solidarity.
Following exchanges with participants from the two conflicting communities, problems were identified and animation solutions proposed out of which test-animations were created. These addressed the themes of inter-communal relationships, language and a shared future. Their impact was then discussed and evaluated by a local audience who suggested amendments. This perpetual, collaborative procedure of action was to be repeated until all needs were met and problems resolved.
Primarily the original contribution to knowledge lay in researching a largely neglected area of the arts and peace and in successfully proving that art, and in particular animation can act for the purposes of peace-building. The evidence of art (animation)'s potential as a peace-building tool was threefold: firstly, the Action Research approach led to the identification of specific animation strategies, applicable to any ethnic conflict case. Secondly, animation attributes were enlisted that support this function of the medium. Finally, affirmation was gathered from questionnaires.
Publications and Conferences
‣ Christophini, M. 2001. Das Muell Project. In: Bachhuber, Prof Liz and Prof Werner Bidlingmaier, 2001. Flotsam and Jetsam- Ballast and Treibgut, On Art and Refuse and Art [catalogue]. Germany: Bauhaus University Weimar University Publishers. ISBN: 3-7443-0130-2
‣ Christophini, M. 2003. Self-portraits. [art work reference] »anno.02|03« - Projekte, Preise und Personen an der Bauhaus-Universität, »anno.02|03«, - Projects, Awards and People at the Bauhaus University Weimar. Germany: Bauhaus University Weimar University Publishers.
‣ Christophini, M. 2005. Greetings from Cyprus. [art work reference] »anno.04|05« - Projekte, Preise und Personen an der Bauhaus-Universität, »anno.04|05«, - Projects, Awards and People at the Bauhaus University Weimar. Germany: Bauhaus University Weimar University Publishers.
‣ Christophini, M. 2005. Die Nachbarschaften der Welt, The neighbourhoods of the word. In: Rathsack, Laurence and Liz Bachhuber. 2005. Transmission [catalogue]. Germany: Klassik Stiftung Weimar.
‣ Christophini, M (2009). Hands Across the Divide [film reference]. In: A Cipro si oltre passa il muro grazie alla forza della musica. In: Frascaroli, E., ed. 2010. Modena Cooperazione - Solidarietà Internazionale, Altra Economia, Intercultura, Vol. 14.(07–08), p. 6
‣ Christophini, M., 2010. Drawing communities on the divided island of Cyprus. In: Beauty will save the world: An interdisciplinary postgraduate conference on art and social change. 07-08 September 2010, Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Bristol, U.K.
‣ Christophini, M., 2011. Animating Peace. In: Animated Realities: Animation, Documentary and the Moving Image. 23–24 June 2011, Edinburgh University, Edinburgh College of Art & 65th Edinburgh International Film Festival, U.K.
‣ Christophini, M., 2011. Animation screening and discussion. In: THATCamp Cyprus 2011, The Technologies and humanities Camp. 06–07 September, Cyrus University of Technology, Cyprus.
‣ Christophini, M., (2013) Animating peace: a practice investigation engaged with peace-building in Cyprus. PhD thesis, The Glasgow School of Art.
‣ Christophini, M., (2013) Animating peace: a practice investigation engaged with peace-building in Cyprus. Glasgow: The Glasgow School of Art. [PhD thesis]
‣ Christophini, M. (2013). Animation for Peace. In R. Palmer & R. Miller (Eds.), Peace as a Global Language: Reflections on Peace Without Boundaries (pp. 138–142). Kobe, Japan: Mizuyamasangyo Publishing. ISBN: 978-4-906860-15-9
‣ Christophini, M. (2017). Into the Choppy Waters of Peace: An Inquiry into Peace- and Anti-Violence Animation. Animation, 12(2), pp.174–190. https://doi.org/10.1177/1746847717708972
‣ Christophini, M. , Gonzalez, L. (2018). Crossing the Cyprus Divide Armed with pen and Paper. In M. Parrish & R. Richardson (Eds.), Explorations of Peace in Practice (pp. 289–360). Kobe, Japan: Peace as Global Language. [Book chapter] ISBN: 1983006394
‣ Christophini, M. (2018). Speaking each other’s language: The development of an animation prototype with the intention to toggle the language barrier within children of the Greek and the Turkish Cypriot community. Animation Practice, Process & Production, doi: 10.1386/ap3.6.93_1.
‣ Acted as a reviewer of proposals submitted for Q.A.A. Scotland 4th International Enhancement Conference: Beyond measure? Exploring what counts in Higher Education, planned for the 3rd and 4th of June, 2020.
‣ Christophini, M., 2020. Animation And Peace Studies: An Encounter For Societal Betterment | Animationstudies 2.0. [online] Blog.animationstudies.org. Available at: <https://blog.animationstudies.org/?p=3619> [Accessed 27 April 2020].
‣ Christophini, M., 2020. ‘Loving Vincent’ And ‘I’M OK’: Two Approaches To Documenting The Life Of An Artist. [online] ANIMATEDDOCUMENTARY.COM. Available at: <https://animateddocs.wordpress.com/2020/05/01/loving-vincent-and-im-ok-two-approaches-to-documenting-the-life-of-an-artist/> [Accessed 1 May 2020].
‣ Christophini, M., 2020. Book review: Norman McLaren: Between the Frames. Animation, 15(2), pp.196-199.