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Alex Widdowson

MA work

Music & Clowns

Music & Clowns is a short animated documentary about my brother, Jamie, who has a profound learning disability. Despite being close to nonverbal he demonstrates charisma, a sharp sense of humour and incredible emotional sensitivity. I team up with my parents to discuss what it’s like caring for someone with Down syndrome. We piece together fragments of insight to gain a sense of his inner life but our differing perspectives reveal as much about our own subjectivity as they do Jamie’s.

The UK has a critical under representation of the ordinary and diverse lives of people with Down syndrome. As prenatal screening tests improve I felt an urgency to create rich and thoughtful portraits of the Down syndrome community, so people have more than a diagnosis to inform a life changing decision, whether or not to terminate a pregnancy.

Info

  • MA Degree

    School

    School of Communication

    Programme

    MA Animation, 2018

  • I have been directing and writing about animated documentaries since 2012. I am interested in the theory and practice of finding a balance between the seemingly limitless potential of animation and the duty of a documentary filmmaker to create authentic and ethical representations of people and the world. 

  • Degrees

  • AniDox:Lab certificate, The Animation Workshop - VIA University College, 2015; BA (hons) Fine Art, Loughborough University, 2012
  • Experience

  • Visiting lecturer, Art History BA - Concordia University, Montreal, October 2017; Visiting lecturer, Animation BA - University Western England, October 2016; Visiting lecturer, Animation BA - University of the Arts Bournemouth, March 2016; Contributing author, AnimatedDocumetary.com, London, 2013 - 2018; Assistant podcast editor, The Pegbar and Grill - The Line Animation, London, 2016 - 2017; Assistant festival programmer, Au Contraire Film Festival, Montreal, 2016 - 2018; Artist in residence, The Philadelphia Association - psychotherapy charity, London, 2016 - 2017; Artist in residence. Sage Community Arts Space - art therapy charity, London - 2012 - 2014
  • Conferences

  • 'Contrasting the ethical responsibilities of an animated documentary director when the subject is identifiable, when they are anonymous and when the director is the subject', Society for Animation Studies, University of Padova, 2017