Commissioned by the Black Culture Collective, Made in Thamesmead (14mins, 2023) is an experimental animated documentary that considers the migration and settlement of the African and Caribbean community into Thamesmead, South East London. Centred around the lived experiences of three local residents, the film addresses the racial tensions within the area during the 70s, 80s and 90s contrasting the past with the present, with Thamesmead now home to the largest population of West Africans in the UK.
Something More (5mins, 2022) is a short experimental animated film that orbits around the causes of youth knife crime in London. The film is is centered through the lens of a mother raising her 8 year old son in South East London. Alongside this central narrative a variety of other perspectives and stories from those that have been connected to the issue are told. The documentary engages with knife crime as an epidemic, and seeks to open up further conversations that question both the criminal justice system and the current political climate, framing youth knife crime as a symptom of a wider societal problem.
Mary Martins is a British-Nigerian documentary animator, whose films often focus on the experiences and stories of underpresented communities and groups to which she is drawn She produces multi-layered and abstract documentaries that combine traditional and digital forms of animation techniques. Mary Martins exhibited at TACO! in 2019 and was the winner of the CIRCA prize for artist film in 2022.
She is a lecturer in Animation and Graphic Digital Design, and a PhD candidate at the University of Westminster where her research focuses using documentary animation as a method of investigation, and as a living archive that explores the rich history shared between Nigeria and Brazil.