Department of Fine and Performing Arts

Phonche Swinson

Aestrea's Earth

Thesis Statement

phonche swinsonAstraea’s Earth follows the story of a girl named Astraea who is a member of a group of  extraterrestrial peacekeepers. Their mission is to eliminate all human life on Earth with the goal of purging it of all its evils. However, when Astraea lands on Earth to perform her first execution, she discovers some clues proving that she may have more in common with humans than she was trained to believe. Now she must unravel the mysteries of her identity, and her father’s hidden past.

  • For my senior thesis animation, Astraea’s Earth, I utilized a technique called rotoscoping which is the process of taking original video footage and drawing over each frame to create a full animation. The process was very time consuming and tedious at times but it was fun trying this technique.

    When thinking of a concept, I wanted to include the themes of good vs evil, judgment, fantasy, and afrofuturism. While writing my script, cancel culture was at its peak across social media. I wanted this animation to be a commentary on how nothing in life is just black and white. Astraea’s people believe that what they are doing is correct, and that they have the right to take justice into their own hands as self proclaimed divine peacekeepers. Many people do this online by not allowing people to redeem themselves for their past actions. Like Astraea, gaining context can help us view people and their actions differently. 

    I decided to make my main character, Astraea, a young brown-skinned Black girl who is intelligent, courageous, and independent. I named her after the goddess of justice, as it also represents her personality. Eventually, I would like to take this idea and make it into a full fledged game, movie, or show. I love storytelling and writing fiction pieces like this one and hope to write many more unique stories in the future.

Aestra's Earth by Phonche Swinson from DFPA | Bowie State University on Vimeo.