Studio Giggle was contacted by Account3’s Black, Asian and minority ethnic leadership course, called Dare to Lead, to create an animation to raise awareness of domestic abuse in their community.
The women on the Dare to Lead programme, who chose to call themselves SiS (Sistas in Strength), wanted to produce an animation as an allegorical tale of a woman feeling trapped and alone in the world of psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse. SiS wanted to put a fresh perspective on a challenging subject, whilst reinforcing the essential point that no one needs to feel or be alone, there is always help available when you know where to find it.
Led by Account3, a community-based support organisation in Tower Hamlets whose aim is to support women’s economic independence and personal development, the 12 weeks leadership course spearheaded a group of women from the Tower Hamlets borough. As well as this Social Action Project animation, they completed a series of online classes on feminist leadership values, networking, negotiations, building personal confidence, as well as other leadership topics. The Social Action Project is a collaborative project that brings together and builds on their learning.
The decision was made to create an animation after a group session which saw women share their own personal experiences of domestic abuse. But also as a result of the alarming increase in reports of domestic abuse associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. This was something that they also recognised within their local community.
SiS came to Studio Giggle with an idea in mind of the kind of animation they wanted, but they had a key requirement: They only wanted women to work on the project in order to help preserve the delicate nature of the animation. Studio Giggle’s Iina Kuula, Sabrina Bowman, Milena Raschia and Amy Hunter took on the project and worked with the SiS women to enhance their ideas and bring their words to life.
Having provided Studio Giggle with a basic storyboard and script, the animation was turned around in less than a week. To preserve the authenticity of the animation, Studio Giggle sent recording equipment to some of the SiS women so that they could record an emotive voice over for the animation. They then also worked with translators to create Bangla and Somali subtitles.
The animation was created to reach out, not only to Black, Asian and ethnic minority women, but to all women in solidarity, with the intention to share a message of Hope, Encouragement, Freedom, and Raised Awareness.
If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse, contact the 24/7 National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 257.
To view the SiS animation on YouTube: https://youtu.be/BDYNjN8HxVU
SiS animation with Bangla subtitles: https://youtu.be/IWAbq1kL0kw
SiS animation with Somali Subtitles: https://youtu.be/MYXH4bYeKFE