Artist Projects

Western Wilds

Martha Colburn

Western Wilds is a stop-motion film combining doll animation, painted animation and live action. The film is based on popular stories about the American West, written by German author Karl May during the 1890s. The film will trace May’s early childhood experiences of poverty, his eventual crimes and his later work as an author. Western Wilds will reference his stories, moving picture adaptations and illustrations associated with May’s works. At the time of publication, his books were criticized for their unrealistic and fantastical views of Native Americans and the American West. Western Wilds explores how a man who had not once visited America shaped the international perception of the American West, contributing to visual and cultural stereotypes.