The Persistence of Memory: Recollecting trauma in Waltz with Bashir
Abstract: The paper examines Waltz with Bashir (2008) and the act of remembering. As the film progresses, we witness how an individual can repress certain traumatic events from their memory, how people come to remember, and how the “collective memory” is a vital component of political and historical consciousness. The paper also speculates on the appropriateness of animation for figuring such “memory work”: because animation appears to be especially suited to representations of dreams and other altered states, it should therefore also play an integral role in representations of memories and the active recollection of traumatic historical occurrences.
Biographical Statement: Paul Ward works in the School of Media at the Arts Institute at Bournemouth (UK), teaching theory and history of animation, as well as contributing to an interdisciplinary MA course. His main research interests are in animation and documentary, and his publications include the book Documentary: The Margins of Reality (2005), articles in animation: an interdisciplinary journal, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, and Animation Journal, and numerous anthology essays. He is a Board Member of the SAS and serves on the Editorial Boards of Animation Studies (the online SAS journal) and animation: an interdisciplinary journal.