2 minutes to read Posted on Monday December 6, 2021

Updated on Monday December 6, 2021

portrait of Aleksandra Strzelichowska

Aleksandra Strzelichowska

Senior Online Marketing Specialist , Europeana Foundation

Exploring the highlights of GIF IT UP 2021

Every autumn, GIF IT UP brings together creatives, culture lovers and GIF enthusiasts to explore and remix openly licensed cultural heritage collections and create brand new animated artworks. With the winners recently announced, we take a look at the highlights of this year’s edition of GIF IT UP. 

A cat transforming into a violin with the text 'wie aus einer Katze eine Violine werden kann.'
Title: Evolution of household articles, animals etc
Creator: Fr. Schmidt
Institution: Wellcome Collection
Country: United Kingdom
CC BY

Creatives behind the scenes

One of the things that makes GIF IT UP unique is the competition’s community. It brings together people of different backgrounds, ages and skills with a shared passion for culture, creativity and fun. This year, we invited former participants and winners to tell us what inspires and motivates them. They shared the ‘behind the scenes’ of their work - from finding material and curating galleries on Europeana to creating animation. 

GIF-making Academy

GIF IT UP us for everyone - that’s why the curation of selected open material and tutorials helping beginners and first-time GIF-makers have always been an integral part of the competition. This year, we experimented with a new format: The GIF-making Academy.

This three-part email course offered an opportunity to receive all the information and resources directly into your mailbox. The Academy is still open and it’s possible to join at any time and follow the course at your own pace. We’ll be updating and improving it throughout the year. Curious? Join over 380 subscribers!

Animating sport

Over the last few months, we have shared a lot of interesting stories about sporting heritage as part of Europeana Sport. In the last year, a lot of real-life sporting events have been cancelled or held without the public, so we thought it would be nice to combine sport, cultural heritage and creativity in a special prize category for GIF IT UP - and vintage pictures of athletes and competitions seemed like perfect material for remixing. We also hope that created GIFs will help make the link between sports, culture and community more visible within digital space. You can explore these GIFs and more on Giphy.

Young and GIF-ted

No one is too old to make a GIF. But no one is too young either. For a few years, a group of high school students from Liepaja, Latvia have surprised us with their sense of humour, creativity and excellent submissions. This year another group from a school in Italy impressed us with their submissions related to the topic of waves which they explored at school. We love to see younger generations learning things through GIFs while having fun, as well as getting a chance to win prizes in the special children and teens category. 

More open collections, more fun

This year, the Art Institute of Chicago joined the competition as a content partner with a selection of impressionist artworks in the public domain. The new material has been warmly received by the participants, resulting in 34 animated GIFs made by creators from across the globe. This brings a truly global dimension to GIF IT UP, with partners in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.  

Is your institution interested in becoming a content partner for the next edition of the contest? We would love to hear from you and see your collections transformed into fun animations. Get in touch with us by emailing gifitup@europeana.eu.

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