The Caterpillar Girl

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An animated short film highlighting the themes of suppressed identity and struggling to be oneself.

Aleksandra Bokova is a 3D artist with a primary focus on illustration and animation. The Caterpillar Girl is a two-minute short 3D animation film. It explores the notions of magic, nostalgia and loneliness. The animation film highlights themes of suppressed identity and the struggle to be ones own authentic self. Aleksandra refers to the narrative of her own adolescence alongside interviews with other Eastern-European women emigrating from Aleksandra’s home country of Belarus. The short film covers topics of stereotypical representation of women and the desire to transform. The symbol of the film is a butterfly that represents hope, freedom, and transformation.

Aleksandra Bokova “Through short interviews and conversations with Eastern-European women (mostly from Belarus and parts of Russia), I learned about their current struggles with self-acceptance and trauma, while finding many similarities between their stories and my own. I started exploring my own background to get a better sense of how it felt to build a “new self” in a culture very different from my own. This exploration translated into the idea of the film, which tackles the issues of accepting one’s body and personality. In a contemporary world, some people grow up with an inherited sense of self-acceptance and love, but others must learn those qualities at an older age or under difficult circumstances. My works are an immersion into self-understanding, and through the characters, I translate my thoughts and feelings. The magical environments are an ode to my childhood and the girls I grew up with; they are our escape from harsh societal judgment into the worlds of magic, cartoons, and fantastical powers.”


Direction, concept, animation, and editing – Aleksandra Bokova (@sa_shush)

Music – Guus van der Putten  ( @guus_putten)