“Invisible Hand. Animated films by women in (male) animation structures in Poland" - meeting with Hanna Margolis, author of the book (meeting will hosted by Ewa Ciszewska)

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“Invisible Hand. Animated films by women in (male) animation structures in Poland" - meeting with Hanna Margolis, author of the book ( meeting will hosted by Ewa Ciszewska)

The book is based on the doctoral dissertation titled Filmy animowane kobiet w (męskich) strukturach kinematografii w Polsce w perspektywie komparatystycznej (Films animated by women in the (male) structures of Polish cinematography in comparative perspective), honored with Alicja Helman Prize, written under the supervision of dr hab. Monika Talarczyk and defended with honors in the Institute of Polish Culture of the University of Warsaw in 2022. This publication is outstandings, as it was born at the intersection of the author’s professional practice as an academic researcher, who had also worked as an animation director for over a decade. Basing on this experience, and not avoiding self-reflection, she created a well-documented, cross-cutting and exciting “investigative story”, analyzing the unknown and surprising (to a fault) picture of women’s work in the Polish animated film industry from the 1940s to the present day, eventually deconstructing the myth of the master author’s animation. This publication also presents the process of animated film production as collective work, even if the female co-authors haven’t “gone down in history”.

Book cover "Niewidzialną Ręką. Filmy animowane kobiet w (męskich) strukturach animacji w Polsce".

Excerpt(s) from reviews

The dissertation by Hanna Margolis is outstanding [...] and “reads like a good crime story”. [...] The text is well thought-out, mature, conceptually refined and insightful [..]. I would venture the thesis that this book could have been created in Paris, in the 1950s or 1960s, and because of the importance of the “archeology” presented, immediately become an important contribution to the humanities trajectories following it. 

(dr hab. Marcin Adamczak)

This dissertation is an impressive work, both in terms of archival research on the subject of the domestic animated film production from the post-war period to the present day, and critique of the sources, analysis and final conclusions. Most importantly, however, this work is absolutely pioneering. 

(dr hab. Marcin Giżycki)

Hanna Margolis is a film critic, art historian, academic lecturer, programmer and curator, also a director of animated films. Author of numerous academic publications, including the book Animacja autorska w PRL w latach 1957-1968. Ukryty projekt Kazimierza Urbańskiego (Author's Animation in the People's Republic of Poland in 1957-1968: Hidden Project of Kazimierz Urbański), 2019, co-author and editor of the volume Animacja w Akademii Sztuk Pięknych w Warszawie (Animation at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw), 2018. Her interests include animation of the 20th and 21th century, especially in the context of its production culture. She remains sensitive to gender issues as the background of her research.

Photo of a woman wearing a large yellow hat and a black coat. A woman stands behind a large sculpture made of a material resembling porcelain.

Ewa Ciszewska – an assistant professor in the Department of Film and Media Studies at the University of Łódź. Her recent publications concern managing cultural heritage in the field of animation in Poland, Polish-Czechoslovakian film cooperation during communism in Poland, and film education in Poland. She is interested in the history of the Animation Studio of Small Film Forms Se-Ma-For in Łódź. The project manager of „Animation studios in Gottwaldov and Łódź (1945/47-1990)” implemented with prof. Pavel Skopal, who examines Central European animation film studios. A member of the Polish Animation Research Group.

Photo of a smiling woman with green eyes and brown hair. The woman is wearing a black blouse.