13 May 2015

Copenhagen Festival of Puppetry and Politics

After the recent social-media hype, the Copenhagen 'Puppetry in Politics Festival' finaly opens tomorrow. The festival headlines with 'Outpost' a new production by the renowned British company Green Ginger, which takes a subtle glance at politics, power, manipulation and evil.

Besides some great live theatre productions, there is also a symposium on puppetry in activism, voicing dissent and social commentary on Saturday 16 May, which features presentations by Mohsen Abolhassani from Iran on 'Puppets of Social Commentary'; Cariad Astles from the Central School of Speech and Drama, UK on 'Farting in the face of fear: dummies and dictators'; Claudia Orenstein from Hunter College, USA presenting 'Magic in our Hands' and Matt Smith from University of Portsmouth, UK on 'The Puppet as Witness: Inside and Outside Prison with Transgressive Objects', amongst others.

There is also a Film Festival featuring a few fascinating documentaries like 'Magic in our Hands' which follows a puppetry artist in Hyderabad in South India; 'Neighbourly', a local Danish film which blends documentary with puppet film; a few Scandinavian Animated short films and a few of my own documentaries from my work in Africa, including Puppets for Democracy, Puppets Against Aids in Kenya, Puppets in Prison and an updated version of Puppets Against Apartheid. You can view the full film program here.

All in all, the festival contains some fabulous events and the organisers deserve a great attendance, so if you are in Europe, it's well worth attending this week.  You can view a teaser of the UK production 'Outpost' here!

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