Marked (working title)


  • Royal College of Art

Project summary

Marked, will be an experimental, adult-oriented, animated cartoon art film that creates a greater awareness and acceptance of the psychological effect of disfigurement and post-surgical trauma, particularly mastectomy tattoos chosen by people with breast cancer. The film will feature Alicia who after having mastectomy surgery, declined breast reconstruction but instead decorated her scars with a tattoo. The fantastical, open-ended nature of cartoon animation will allow Alicia to tell her story and represent her very real, extreme, exaggerated states of being. 

The film will raise complex questions and ideas about disfigurement, body-image, symmetry and post-surgical trauma: What role does symmetry play in our physical and psychological understanding of ourselves? What are the boundaries of physical and psychological loss? What does it mean to have a tattoo where there were once breasts? What happens to our identity/bodies after surgery?

The visual manifestations of myths, folktales, personal narratives, ideas, desires and/or histories, the locations of the tattoos, the act of tattooing and the tattoos themselves are powerful responses to disfigurement that mark the sites of trauma, while marking the survival of breast cancer.