THE ART DISPUTE
A contemporary conversation about historical context and culture.
Learning from history has never been more relevant than today. The NPO documentary “The Art Dispute” sets out to trace the origins of historical works of art that somehow ended up in European museums. It’s blatantly obvious that it wasn’t by accident, but that they were clearly plundered in colonial times. This documentary series by Hazazah opens up the dispute and has a contemporary conversation about historical context and culture.
It goes without saying that there’s little to no footage from these periods, so we created animations that support the different theories and anecdotes, making it almost impossible to deny or minimise the facts and observe history from a closer point of view.
Our biggest challenge was creating a consistent visual style across the different episodes,
while each artefact has its own very unique story, time period and location. We also felt it our duty to interpret and amplify the emotions that must have accompanied these historic events. After all, these anecdotes have happened to actual people. They are more than just footnotes in history.
We did a lot of stylistic research, and the project evolved together with the documentary series itself. As the edits started rolling in we sometimes took the tough decision to remake some of the animation to better suit the storytelling. We weren’t going to settle for anything less than animated sequences that spoke directly to the viewer’s emotions, and learn about the history of our museums and views on colonialism.