What It Feels Like is a personal animated documentary that investigates the emotional imagery behind the words that people unwillingly hear. Voice hearing is a common mental health condition that many individuals live with. The documentary presents inventive “flipbook” animation in real world locations to imaginatively depict what it feels like to hear these voices.

“It is estimated that between 5% and 28% of the general population hears voices that other people do not. Hearing voices is an auditory hallucination that may or may not be associated with a mental health problem. It is the most common type of hallucination in people with psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. However, a large number of otherwise healthy individuals have also reported hearing voices.”

What It Feels Like from Steven Fraser on Vimeo.




What It Feels Like to hear voices

What It Feels Like investigates 6 different themes associated with Voice Hearing. Using these evocative themes we tell the story of an unnamed protagonist who lives with the positives and negatives of hearing voices. We experience the variety of emotions, turmoils, passions, triumphs and hardships that voice hearing can present. Dazzling animation brings the unique voices to life and acts as a striking physical representation of the “otherness” associated with hearing voices. This distinctive approach takes its influence from artists moving image films by Anne Charlotte Robertson and Carolee Schneemann, as we see the personal themes networked through an individualistic visual style.

The animation expresses itself in a series of small boxes that are mechanically operated to present animation in a technique similar to a flipbook. These inventive boxes are placed in real world locations and give an abstract and physical representation of the voices. The boxes convey the complex emotion that the voice hearer is experiencing and here we witness a visceral connection between the “otherness” of the voices and the tangible physical body of the individual.

The 6 themes that What It Feels Like covers are –

  • Confusion
  • Clarity
  • Frustration
  • Anger
  • Resolution
  • Support