The Tambani Project: A Computer Animation of the Greedy Hippo/ Die Tambaniprojek: 'N Rekenaaranimasie Van Die Hebsugtige Seekoei

By Swanepoel, Rita M. C.; van der Westhuizen, Christiaan | Literator: Journal of Literary Criticism, comparative linguistics and literary studies, April 2012 | Go to article overview

The Tambani Project: A Computer Animation of the Greedy Hippo/ Die Tambaniprojek: 'N Rekenaaranimasie Van Die Hebsugtige Seekoei


Swanepoel, Rita M. C., van der Westhuizen, Christiaan, Literator: Journal of Literary Criticism, comparative linguistics and literary studies


This article presented an investigation of and reflection on the techniques and production processes used to transform a traditional Ngano Venda folktale, The Greedy Hippo, from embroideries into a digitally animated film. The article was guided by a method derived from a practice-based research model for creative production which describes ways in which creative outputs can be regarded as a viable research option. The method comprised the documentation of and reflection on the project in three phases, namely pre-production, production and postproduction. The Tambani embroidery project is a community outreach initiative launched by Ina le Roux. Ngano is the collective noun for traditional Venda folklore. In this article, we argued that computer animation techniques could be implemented successfully in the digital transformation of a Venda folktale that was originally part of an oral tradition. We demonstrated this argument by means of Christiaan van der Westhuizen's transformation of The Greedy Hippo folktale into a computer animation format.

Hierdie artikel bied 'n ondersoek na en refleksie op die tegnieke en die produksieprosesse wat gebruik is in die omskakeling van 'n tradisionele Ngano-Venda-volksverhaal, Die hebsugtige seekoei, vanaf borduurwerk in 'n digitale animasiefilm. Die artikel word gerig deur 'n metode wat afgelei is uit 'n praktykgebaseerde navorsingsmodel vir skeppende uitsette. Hierdie navorsingsmodel omskryf wyses waarvolgens skeppende uitsette as geldige navorsingsopsies gereken kan word. Die metode bestaan uit die dokumentering van en refleksie ten opsigte van die projek in drie fases, naamlik pre-produksie, produksie en post-produksie. Die Tambaniborduurwerkprojek is 'n gemeenskapsuitieikmgsinisiatief wat deur Ina le Roux van Stapel laat loop is. Ngano is die versamelwoord vir tradisionele Vendavolksverhale. In hierdie artikel argumenteer ons dat rekenaaranirnasietegnieke wel suksesvol geimplementeer word in die digitale omskakeling van 'n Venda-volksverhaal wat oorspronklik uit 'n mondelinge tradisie stam. Ons demonstreer hierdie argument aan die hand van Christiaan van der Westhuizen se omskakeling van Die hebsugtige seekoei in 'n rekenaaranimasie.

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. (Angelou 1969)

Introduction

This article reflects on the techniques and production process used to transform a traditional Venda Ngano folktale, namely The Greedy Hippo, from embroidered images into a digitally animated film (Van der Westhuizen 2010a). The article further proposes that this transformation process is also a form of transgression. The reason for this is that whilst the animation honoured the content of the folktale, it also adds a television viewer audience to the original audience, which is traditionally situated in an oral culture. The method that we apply in this article draws on a method derived from a practice-based research model for creative production that describes ways in which creative outputs can be regarded as a viable research option (cf. Gray & Malins 2004:3). The method entails the documentation of and reflection on the project in three phases, namely (1) pre-production, (2) production and (3) post-production.

The Tambani embroidery project (1) is a community outreach initiative that is managed by Doctor Ina le Roux (2) from Johannesburg, South Africa. Tambani is situated south-east of Musina in the Limpopo Province in the towns of Fholovhodwe and Muswodi-Tshisimani. The Tambani project, within the context of the Transgressions and boundaries of the page project, entails that images derived from traditional Venda folklore have been translated into embroidered pictures (which are often made into quilts) by Venda women and then into a computer animation.

Ngano is the collective noun for traditional Venda folklore. Because the African tradition--especially in rural areas--is oral rather than written, Ngano stories are customarily told and retold from generation to generation by the oldest women in this particular rural area. …

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