By a reasonably narrow margin of votes, China won the bid yesterday as the next country to host the 21st International UNIMA Congress and Festval in 2012. China was represented here by Wang Zhonglin, the Vice Mayor of the Municipal People's Government of Chengdu, the host city and Bangjun Wang, the deputy director of Chengdu's Bureau of Commerce.
I am most grateful that I am no longer part of the UNIMA council, because this decision can't be an easy one to make in the light of recent human rights abuses that overshadow the bidding from both countries, China and Russia. The remote fantasy island kingdom of Tibet was apparently never mentioned. Will China's one child policy be extended to a one puppet policy? Will censorship be imposed on puppeteers speaking out?
UNIMA's statutes state its objective in using this art to pursue human values such as peace and mutual understanding between peoples regardless of race, political or religious convictions and differences in culture, in accordance with the respect for fundamental human rights as defined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights of December 10th 1948.
We as the body of international puppeteers look forward, once again, to use our art in promoting social and political change!