Pipi Thay Too
('The Grandmother Tree')
A short animated film
‘Pipi Thay Too’ was created when a group of young young refugee women, ages 12-22, joined up with local artist, director and mentor Laura Alice - and started to explore and collaborate to create cutting-edge storytelling art, media and animation. The talented young artists are from a Karenni and Karen background, having come to Australia to
escape the brutal genocidal regime in Myanmar.
Every week the group met up with Laura Alice and dedicated themselves to learning about and creating powerful art forms. Under the guidance of Laura Alice, the young women learnt to paint and draw, and to use simple animation techniques to bring their stories to life.
And so ‘Pipi Thay too’ (‘The Grandmother Tree’) was born. With the support and
partnership of The Bluebird Foundation and The Fort, the group poured their time into writing, painting and creating their story. Based on their own journey from refugee camps to Australia, they explored themes such as identity, resilience and spiritual connection to ancestors. The story is in many ways autobiographical- the protagonist reflecting the young women who wrote it - a resilient young, Karen teenaged girl living in a refugee camp, and her powerful inner and outer journey.
Director Laura Alice worked collaboratively with the teenaged artists the whole time,
taking their paintings and drawings and animating it into the story they had created, guiding them through the process and working intimately with them every week to create their shared vision.
The result is this beautiful animated film; a very unique, important retelling of the human rights of refugees, with uplifting and esoteric storylines.