The 22nd Annual Society for Animation Studies Conference

Charles daCosta

Who’s Out There: Halas, the Relevance of Oral Traditions and the Animated Documentary

rsations with the late John Halas impressed on me that production of good animation should not be determined by marketing and industrial demands. Rather it should be about the capture of ideas, development of thought and the projection of ideologies. Inspired by Halas, I argue that while the ability of animation to educate is well understood, the relevance of critically empowering artists – during training - is largely ignored. This however must be central to animators’ education. This could be addressed through programs in which liberal studies are integral. The design and implementation of courses that require the accurate documentation of non-technical thought processes preceding, as well as occurring during and after production must be promoted. The proliferation of affordable digital tools makes capture of these new oral histories possible.

Biographical statement: Charles daCosta is an animation history professor at the Savannah College of Art and Design. A multi-instrumentalist, he is passionate about stop-motion. Charles’s scholarly work focuses on the nexus between theory and practice in animation. Previously he taught Animation at the University of Westminster, Media and University for the Creative Arts, Farnham; Cultural Studies at the Kingston University and Animation Studies at Morley College, south London. He also taught Film and Post-Colonial Studies at the London Center of Samford University, Birmingham, Ala. Charles previously served the University of Reading as its New Media Manager, and was a project manager for the European Commission's MEDIA initiative prior to that position. In addition, daCosta has worked as a cameraman and photographer for a UNESCO expedition in the South Pole; and on several educational animation projects in Europe, Africa and South America. He is currently developing a series of history-centered animated shorts.