The Last Chimera



The Last Chimera is an experimental animation that chronicles how my engagement with fantasy-based media coloured my perception of my surroundings during the pandemic. When the sudden impact of the pandemic left me unmotivated to make art, I sought comfort through nostalgia. This eventually led me back to Japanese Role-Playing Games (JRPG), a preferred genre of videogames from my childhood. I was immediately enthralled by many of the common themes and tropes from JRPG’s. I could see how they shaped my worldview as a teenager, and how much of their ethics I still believe in today. As restrictions relaxed back in the real world and I began to feel more comfortable with expanding my surroundings, the one thing that was immediately apparent was the growing divide between economic classes. Countless homes were undergoing luxury expansions, as encampments began to form in the neighbouring parks. I immediately began to draw parallels back to the JRPG’s fantasy worlds. It was easy to start building a narrative. There were altruistic heroes banding together for the greater good, and villains set at stopping them without reason. I would spend my mornings doomscrolling through news stories and social media posts to continue developing the narrative. I eventually found myself reengaged with my art practice. I began constructing my own virtual environments and populating them with fictionalized characters that reflected my interpretations. It wasn’t till I was very deep in this process that an event awakened me. The level of violence used to evict the encampments was deeply unsettling and shocked me back to reality. The ineffectiveness of armchair activism was clear, and I was left to confront the limitations of my introverted nature. This realization eventually forced me to re-evaluate my use of fiction to create positive change. While there are many examples of media effectively breaking down complex ethics into more digestible narratives, I had to question whether this same approach remained effective for adults who are more inherently immutable. While I believe it is human nature to help one another, I had to consider if creating or engaging with fictional narratives helps satiate this need and helps prevent us from creating real change.