Back in early 2015, animators Bee Grandinetti, Hedvig Ahlberg and Linn Fritz found themselves in similarly frustrated boats. Working in male-dominated studios, female role models, and even sometimes just female colleagues, were hard to come by. So, rather than accept their lot, the trio took a proactive stance and founded Punanimation. Starting as a Facebook group, aiming to bring the ladies, trans and non-binary friends together, Punanimation is now about to launch its first London exhibition later this week from 6 September.
Since its inception, Punanimation has become an ever-growing online hub dedicated to showcasing some of the best animation around, acting as a resource for non-male animators looking for advice, exposure, and camaraderie.
This week’s show is a strong celebration of the Punanimation ethos, with brilliant work from the likes of Daniela Uribe and Justyana Stasik set to go on display at Pocko between on 6 September.
Bee describes the curation process as “definitely hard, but also equally fun,” telling us that, “for the exhibition, we wanted to show a variety within styles and skills.” With work from Punanimation members from 33 different cities across the globe featured in the show, there’s no doubt that geographical diversity has been addressed, even if Bee and the team admit that despite the brilliant work they’ve done thus far, there is always room for improvement.
“While we’re always making an effort to make sure we’re featuring a good balance within the gender spectrum of our community and the different ethnic groups, that’s not immediately obvious from people’s work, names, looks and portfolio,” says Bee. “And even within our minority group, we’re very aware that the majority of it is still composed of white, cis women, so there’s definitely a very long way to go still when it comes to diversity in animation.”
The Punanimation member is keen to stress that “there are loads” of groups also fighting for equality in the animation sector, with Women in Animation, Yes Equal, Animated Women UK, Edit Collective, Women Who Draw, She Says being just a few of what Bee describes as, “cool people doing great things to push for a more equal playing field.”