The 22nd Annual Society for Animation Studies Conference

Kerry Gough

Animation Re-Orientation: Animation Forum West Midlands, G(local)isation and the Creation of Regional Network Communities in the New Digital Age

This paper examines the emergence of regional clusters of creative animation industries, specifically focusing upon the work of Animation Forum West Midlands (AFWM). Created in 2005, AFWM was formed with Digital Central financing to concentrate its attention upon fostering and generating of a network of animation creatives across the bedroom cultures and SMEs of animation workers within the West Midlands. AFWM facilitates in the development of these cluster communities and networking opportunities in order to encourage the development of collaborative enterprises within the region. AFWM functions not only as a creative hub of animation activity within the new digital age, but also acts as a refuge against the centralised processes of London and a barrier against the tide of international animation outsourcing.

Biographical Statement:
Dr Kerry Gough is a Lecturer in Media Theory at Birmingham City University. She has recently completed her doctoral thesis at The University of Nottingham, which examines the historical reception of the Alien film quad and the historically specific function that Lt. Ripley fulfils, as a nexus for societal discourse and debate surrounding the body and gendered norms. She has published on comic book culture and her research interests include film and television horror, science fiction and most recently the generation of networks of animation workers and the potential that this offers for the further development of the industry within the UK.