Art-making Process as a Tool for Social Change: A Case Study of an Animation “A short Story About Feminism in Russia”

Mari Mäkiranta, Outi Ylitapio-Mäntylä

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


This article explores the possibilities for social change in the art-making process, focusing
on one case: the animation A short story about feminism in Russia, produced
by a participant in the Cultural Sustainability and Photography Workshop organised
by the Iceland Academy of the Arts, University of Lapland and Cirrus—the Nordic and Baltic
Network of Art and Design Education in 2012. Drawing on the literature on art-making processes
and feminist post-structural theories, this article presents a case analysis of what feminist
knowledge can be produced in art-making processes. This post-structural analysis of how
artists investigate social issues pays attention to power, knowledge, gender and social meanings
in art-making processes. The analysis is also autobiographical in nature as the workshop was
based on this methodology.
We explain how that multiple voices are involved in art-making processes and have varied
emphases, primarily attributed to the voices that have power and embrace critical thinking.
We claim that art-making processes stress critical perspectives of society and that promoting
new ways of thinking, visualising and designing through arts demands practice-based skills,
theorising and self-reflection. The visual designs, theoretical lenses, personal stories and artistic
intentions in art-making situations provide equally important knowledge about the world and
can induce possibilities for social change.
Keywords: art-making, animation, biographical study, social change, post-structuralism
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVisual Thinking
Subtitle of host publicationTheories & Practices
EditorsRiitta Brusila, Mari Mäkiranta, Silja Nikula
Place of PublicationRovaniemi
PublisherLapland University Press
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-310-943-8
ISBN (Print)978-952-310-944-5
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019
MoEC publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book


  • art-making
  • animation
  • biographical study
  • social change
  • post-structuralism

Field of science

  • Visual arts and design

Citation for this output