Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Media Studies

Reader 1

T. Kim-Trang Tran

Reader 2

Stephanie Hutin

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2017 Karla M. Guerra


Adaptation of personal experiences to a screen is no new concept, in fact it is the driving force to media content creation. All storylines and narratives are related to personal experience whether literally or metaphorically. These experiences are externalized in media by many forms, ranging from the visible and audible. Mainstream media is tied to an entertainment purpose, regardless of themes and topics presented. Therefore, it is important to understand that some of the depictions presented in media are linked to stigma or misrepresentation. This is particularly true for portrayals of mental illness and experiences of trauma. I plan on exploring how media, specifically animation, can communicate subjective experiences of mental illness and trauma. In my exploration I will also speak about the role of abstract and experimental animation in this endeavor. While live action contains an element of reality in contextualizing events or experiences, animation allows one to take full control of the visual representation of a subject and agency over constructing a narrative. Animation is a means of inquiry that exemplifies an art form and a journey of self-discovery. I created a short experimental film reconstructing my subjective experience with childhood sexual trauma. I will embrace visually stimulating abstract animation and stop motion to create an evocative visualization of my personal experience. This means of visual production takes the process of subjective experience a step further and literally becomes a process of laborious and tedious composition, culminating with a personal narrative piece.

Streaming Media

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.