22 February 2006

As the news mounts up...

So many apologies for the lack of postings in the past weeks! I am remaining here in South Africa in the short term due to personal commitments, where I shall be conducting a series of lectures and workshops starting tonight (Wednesday 22 February) with a lecture presentation on Puppetry as a Weapon of Mass Distraction: The relevance of the puppet in our society today.

We will reflect on role the puppet has played, through the centuries, as a socio-political tool, a powerful medium for mass communication and a visual metaphor never ceases to surprise people. During George W Bush’s re-inauguration campaign in 2004, puppetry was banned in the United States.

In September 2005, an American puppeteer-activist for the Greenpeace movement, Scott Parkin was deported from Australia because it was discovered that he had been involved in protest theatre in the United States against Exxon Mobile. In the UK, in October 2005, a British puppeteer, also performing Punch and Judy in the streets of Kent, was told to remove the Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein characters from his seaside performance!

In this lecture-presentation, Gary Friedman will give an insight into the uses of puppetry as a socio-political tool and its appeal to the masses, without any barriers of race, age, sex, culture, or language. He will show extracts of his international puppetry work in education and development over the past twenty years in Africa, Canada, Australia, Europe the Eastern Arctic and the South Pacific. The lecture will take place at 7.30pm at the
Cape Town Holocaust Centre in the Gardens. For more information and bookings, telephone Natacha: 021- 465 1546

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