What would happen if we cut the strings that hold a puppet? Would it be free of its ropes or would it fall? Obviously it would fall. It follows from this that for a puppet the more strings the more freedom of movement. Stop, watch out! Perhaps too many strings can entangle the puppet.
The idea of this animation comes from an aphorism by Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio:
“I often say that I don't know what freedom is, but, as in many other things, the strongest argument I have is nothing more than an allegory; that of the puppet strings; the more strings, the more freedom”. Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio.
This aphorism is the starting point to explain what I want to narrate in this animation project. In it the contradiction inherent in the concept of freedom is expressed. To this vision of freedom as the result of the possibility of enjoying the greatest number of determinations, references or supports possible, is opposed the conception, perhaps more naive, more typical of an unreflective, willful, romantic and adolescent impulse, of freedom as a total absence of determinations, which expresses the following short story by Franz Kafka:
“The Wish to Be a Red Indian. IF ONE WERE only an Indian, instantly alert, and on a racing horse, leaning against the wind, kept on quivering jerkily over the quivering ground, until one shed one's spurs, for there needed no spurs, threw away the reins, for there needed no reins, and hardly saw that the land before one was smoothly shorn heath when horse's neck and head would be already gone.” Franz Kafka.
This project addresses the issue of freedom regarding women and their social status. In it, a female puppet is presented locked in a room, prostrate on the floor and immobile, to which, after various experiences, strings are attached to her body. Her movements begin to be more and more fluid, until she is entangled by the excessive number of strings, which will end up tearing.
The appearance of each new string is associated with a scene that takes place outside the room. Each of the scenes deals with a specific aspect related to women. The first deals with the issue of gender and its social construction in an environment of manufacturing chain products. The second addresses the relationship of women with the body and with the tasks of the public and private sphere of life. In the third and last, the mythical figure of Sisyphus is used to talk about the feeling of repetition and exhaustion, about the question that life feels like a constant struggle.
The scenes in the puppet room have a dark and depressing tone that contrasts with the cheerful and colourful character of the exterior scenes. This opposition aims to reinforce the dialectical character of the work and to avoid an easy positioning or conclusion by the viewer. The animation aims to deal with the issue of freedom in relation to women in its complexity and from different angles. The following examples synthesize and bring together the two visions of freedom that collide in different ways, and all of them have served as inspiration for the elaboration of the central theme:
“ (I do what I want/ said an ant/ into the anthill))
decía una hormiga
en el hormiguero.” Francisco Díaz Velázquez en Coplas de Nadie, p. 18.
"On the puppet theater" by Heinrich von Kleist, 1801. This short story reflects on the pernicious effects that the intervention of the conscience has on the freedom, harmony and grace of bodily movements. In a metaphorical way, this aesthetic work introduces new contradictions in the theme of our project, but starting from the central line of its argument, namely, the adventures of a female puppet.
The animation is not intended to provide any solution to these problems, but simply to provide a fertile and rich tool for reflection, which can facilitate the opening of new paths in the individual and collective vital practices of women and also men. It is about creating in the viewer, once the short film is seen, a feeling of uncertainty, of constant return to the beginning, a feeling of recurring contradiction. Thus, it is suggested that the only real solution to the problem dealt with is to assume the need for a daily and endless rethinking of the same issues. It is not, therefore, a closed reflection, an idea or conclusion, but an invitation to reflect.
The central situation of the puppet locked in the room, where strings appear that give her greater movement, but which lead her to finally become entangled with them, depart of the texts and reflections of the previous section. Being a metaphor of life, the possibilities of development and the difficulties inherent to the same possibilities, we were presented with the need to represent all of this through other situations that happened to female characters analogous to the central one of the puppet. The three scenes that take place outside the room are representative of important aspects of the life of any woman.
The first one represents the central question of gender identity from a very general point of view. It is about recreating a situation in which it is shown that the identities of men and women are socially constructed in their most important features. It is a somewhat aggressive and mechanical scene, in which human beings appear classified as men or women at birth as if we were industrially manufactured products. Any "product" that does not fit perfectly in one of the two watertight compartments is classified as waste. The protagonist is a baby directly related to the puppet in the room.
The second addresses the issue of modern women in our current society, the society of the spectacle. Everything goes here very fast and, in terms of women and the things they can or should do, the possibilities overlap one another without any balance or measure. Thus, aspects that can be claimed as needs or rights, by presenting themselves at the same time can become ties and burdens for life. The protagonist is a middle-aged woman.
Finally, a third scene deals with the brutal fatigue of many women, the feeling of effort and absurd fight, so symptomatic and habitual. The mythical figure of Sisyphus is used here, who was punished by the gods for climbing a stone to the top of a hill so that when he reached the top it would fall and force him to restart the task, and so on forever. The protagonist is a mature woman.
The combination of the central scene of the puppet in the room with the other three, heterogeneous among themselves, is not intended to achieve an effect of narrative coherence. It is not about telling a story in a linear and realistic way. The central idea is expressed in the adventures of the puppet with its strings, which offers the viewer an almost exclusively physical conflict. The intercalation of the other exterior scenes that bring into play conflicts and concrete situations referring to the female condition is intended to launch and direct the interpretations of this central scene, enriching the evident metaphorical and allegorical power of a (female) puppet that becomes entangled precisely with the ropes that allow her to move.
The relationships, the plot and visual bridges between the central scene and the three exterior scenes are various. On the one hand, there is the visual identification between the strings that fall to the puppet in the inner room and other strings that appear in each of the scenes. Second, the female characters in the exterior scenes and the puppet have facial and body features in common. Third, in each of the three exterior scenes the same three little monsters appear; some bugs that help and accompany the protagonist They are three characters with three well-defined personalities and aspects. They provide a presence of something indeterminate, something friendly and fun; the always possible alternative look or escape route that exists in every tough situation, no matter how difficult it may be.
The story has a perfectly circular structure that excludes any unidirectional or conclusive interpretation, which pursues perplexity in the viewer and forces them to take a reflective attitude towards what they have witnessed.
This project deals with the issue of freedom referring to women. It is a central issue in today's society, full of nuances and implications for anyone, not just women. The objectives of the animation, apart from its intrinsic aesthetic and artistic interest, are the approach of problems related to the freedom of women in society and reflection on them. In fact, it is not about the elaboration of a pamphlet or an ideological manifesto, but about the creation of a tool for reflection and debate. Freedom, also in general, but specifically in its manifestation in matters related to women, is a problematic issue, sometimes contradictory, which requires constant reflection and critical attitude. Through a formally simple argument and an attractive artistic presentation, it is intended to convey this need to critically rethink such a fundamental and essential issue for the whole of society.
After its completion, it is intended to make screenings of the short film to discuss its content with the public. The making of the creation process will also be screened and the sets, dolls and drawings of the storiboard will be displayed for use for educational purposes.
The short film is funded by the calls for audiovisual production of the Vitoria-Gasteiz City Council and the Álava Provincial Council, as well as the support of the Vital Foundation.
"I come from a family of women in which the father figures, sadly, have left too soon. Since I was little, I have seen that women have to do too many tasks to survive in the system. I thought it was so because of the absence of those father figures. Later I realized that, although there was this male figure in families, the situation of women was not very different from mine.
Women have achieved many things, of which I feel heir and proud, but without leaving behind the burdens they already had. The result is an overload that is difficult to carry without drowning.
I have always wanted to tell something about this, since, lacking this figure, I have had to start working since my adolescence, because the salary of the women in my house, of the ¨media¨ class with no studies or profession, did not even reach to pay for my own studies. The idea is to promote reflection on whether we want to achieve that equality or create a new one that arises from women". Sonia estévez.
Txotxongiloa will be a short film made in stop motion and for adults.
It is an animated piece without dialogue. It is intended, narrating with images only, that the viewer enters this visual universe and enjoys its aesthetics, its forms and its history. On the one hand, the role of music in this production is very important since it is intended to be the "voice" of the characters, narrating something in itself. On the other hand, by lacking dialogues, we understand that we can more easily reach a greater number of viewers for its distribution.
The idea regarding the aesthetic aspect is to show an artisan production where everything is made by hand that provides a stimulation or tactile perception that supports visual perception.
This short film has a political and social theme and the way of approaching these areas is markedly feminist. However, it is not a plea or pamphlet. It is at all times an artistic exercise, a visual, narrative and aesthetic proposal. It is a proposal of intellectual and artistic experience. It aims to tell a specific story, somewhat surreal, but easy to understand, which opens up avenues for reflection on the current situation of women and some specific problems that are their own.
It is a very universal and general story. It is not situated in a very specific temporary or cultural environment or situation. It is a story of any current woman.
The target audience is young and adult women.
Tik Tak Animation (Tik Tak Film Studio Koop. Elkarte Txikia), founded in November 2018, is an independent audiovisual production company, specialized in Stop Motion animation.
Tik Tak is a small cooperative that supports and believes in the social economy. It belongs to the Reas Euskadi social and solidarity economy network. In that same philosophy, equality and equity also count among its values. As a company, it has an Equality Plan and a Protocol for the Prevention and treatment of chaos of sexual and sexist harassment in companies.
We have a professional core team. For us, each project is different and we are eager to learn and take on this new challenge:
The idea came from the director, producer and one of the animators of the short film, Sonia Estévez , and her concerns about this issue.
Sonia is a founding partner and administrator of Tik Tak Animation. She has trained in stop motion animation in Barcelona, at the 9zeros Animation School and at the Cifo de Hospitalet. She is currently training in Stop Motion at Aardman Academy. He took courses in Digital Art and Audiovisual Projects at the Vitoria-Gasteiz School of Arts and Crafts. She studied Forestry and Environmental Chemistry, so he combines audiovisual production and sustainability. She uses stop motion animation as a means of making social issues visible. He has directed three short films and several commercials in this animation technique. He teaches various animation workshops for all ages.
She loves hazelnut chocolate and always being behind the scenes.
Javier Fernández Landaluce, the screenwriter.
Javier Fernández has a degree in History from the Public University of the Basque Country. He has studied contemporary German history at the Humboldt Universität in Berlin. He has a degree in German Philology from the Public University of the Basque Country. He has studied General Linguistics and German Philology at the University of Leipzig. He has a diploma of Advanced studies at the Public University of the Basque Country, for two linguistic research works on the Spanish sign language and is a Ph.D. in linguistics from the Public University of the Basque Country, with a thesis entitled "La deixis en la Lengua de Spanish signs ”.
He is currently a teacher at Geroa Eskola- Pedagogía Waldorf, where he teaches Spanish language and literature in secondary education courses.
He is a theater teacher at the TAE Performing Arts Workshop (Vitoria-Gasteiz) and at Arteria Espacio Creativo (Vitoria-Gasteiz).
Malkoak (2019), Domestic Violence (2018), Txotxongiloa (2017), Abiadura (2015), Today is only for you (2014)
Yoanna Baena, director of photography
Yohanna Baena, passionate about cinema and music, in 2014 began her photographic training through different courses and workshops; Later, she became part of the Alava photographic society and began his photography studies at the Vitoria-Gasteiz School of Arts and Crafts. Since then, she has used photography as a means of life and expression. She currently works as a photographer for craft beer "Dougall, s de Cantabria" (product photography)
Some of his photographic works: Aprendiz de Mago (exhibition 2016), The new Prometheus (exhibition 2017), Transplastic (exhibition 2018), En Toda Regla (exhibition 2019).
Jimmy Bidaurreta, musical composition / Sound
He has a Higher Degree from the Donostia Municipal Conservatory and expanded his studies at the Jazz & World Music Department of the Rotterdam Conservatorium. He has been a professor of Modern Music at the Pablo Sarasate Superior Conservatory of Pamplona.
He currently directs the Gasteiz Big Band with which he performed at the National Music Auditorium in Madrid (European Music Day 6-21-2008), Polyball 2013 Zurich, Proclamation of Fiestas Vitoria 2017, with Sole Giménez. With this formation he recorded the CD "Bing Bang" (2010), "Radio Radetzky" (2016), one of the 8 best albums of the year for the online magazine Jazz District., "Melodías Vascas 10.1" presented at the Teatro Principal de Gasteiz at the Aitzina Folk Festival.
He has participated in the Jazzaldia San Sebastian in various editions with different groups. Acid Gazz, Gasteiz Big Band and Javi P3Z Orkestra. With the latter he also performed at Supernatural Festival (Utrecht), II Urban Music Festival (Madrid), La Casa Encendida, Radio3 Concerts (Madrid), Flower Market (Barcelona). Together with Dj Makala he publishes “Free Download” (2019) performing at Hotannay Brixton (London), Apolo (Barcelona) and Leopold Museum (Vienna), Kutxa Kultur Kluba (Donostia) among other venues.
He promoted the creation of the Dantza Baltza sub-label on the Gaztelupeko Hotsak record company where he has published several references: Hotsak Dantzan I and Hotsak Dantzan II (modern revisions of Basque classics), Cosmonaut Camel (ethno-electronic) and Live in Nájera, SSSF and Bing Bang as director of the Gasteiz Big Band.