People’s Puppet Project

People’s Puppet Project

Snuff Puppets’ community development workshop, the People’s Puppet Project (PPP) is a unique model in which diverse community groups work intensively with Snuff Puppets to design, build and perform their own outdoor giant puppet spectacles.

People’s Puppet Project is an artist residency and workshop process for engaging with and empowering people to access their own creativity while contributing to and participating in their own local culture.

All PPP projects are tailor-made to suit the abilities and desired outcomes of the community. Our workshop techniques are suitable for all participants over 14 years and from any background or experience level: artists, students or members of the general public.

The workshop process is totally unique to Snuff Puppets. Workshop participants are placed at the heart of the creative process to drive the development of the characters, issues and local stories they want to explore and share. Projects lead to high-quality performances that are technically and visually extraordinary whilst at the same time creating work that is genuinely meaningful to the community of people who have collaboratively made it. A PPP performance may be roving giant puppet acts, a giant puppet parade, an outdoor giant puppet show, or some combination of all these options.

Selected People’s Puppet Projects

  • Weiwuying Children’s Festival, Taiwan – 2017
  • Espace Masolo, Democratic Republic of Congo – 2017
  • George Town Festival, Malaysia – 2016
  • Art Setouchi, Japan – 2016
  • Echigo-Tsumari, Japan – 2015
  • Australian Pacific Arts Network, Brimbank City Council – 2015
  • Pondicherry, India – 2014
  • Fairfax Festival, Swan Hill – 2013
  • Herning 100, Denmark – 2013
  • OzFest, India – 2012
  • Yilan International Festival, Taiwan – 2012
  • Hi-Seoul Festival, Korea – 2012
  • Mildura Wentworth Arts Festival, Victoria – collaboration with LEAP – 2011
  • Hwacheon, Korea – collaboration with Tuida – 2010
  • Kaohsiung International Puppet Festival, Taiwan 2010
  • Peter Sabroe School, Aarhus Festival, Denmark, 2010
  • Come Out Festival, Whyalla, South Australia 2009
  • Taipei International Children’s Art festival, Taiwan 2009
  • Yayasan Bagong Kussudiardja, Yogyakarta, Indonesia 2008
  • Festival Kesenian Yogyakarta, Indonesia 2006
  • Worawa Aboriginal College, Australia 2005
  • World Social Forum, Brazil 2005
  • Q-Fest, Outback Western Australia 2003-04
  • Oreal Festival, Netherlands 2003
  • Singapore International Arts Festival 2002
  • Shizuoka World Cup, Japan 2001+02

Giant Puppets of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (2017)

Snuff Puppets worked in Africa for the first time in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kinshasa, living and working at a cultural centre, Espace Masolo. The centre runs art and education programs for street children, orphans, child soldiers and adults. The space houses a sewing and tailoring school and is the home to Fanfare Masolo, an exceptional brass band made up of young adult musicians who have grown up at the space over the last twelve years learning music and other skills. Read the full story of the workshop here.

Giant Puppets of Echigo-Tsumari, Japan, 2015

Working with residents of Urada, a regional farming community, we created a giant puppet show based on local traditions and Obon festival customs. The puppets performed at Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale and Setouchi Triennale, events bringing artists and audiences to remote areas to revitalise ageing and disappearing communities and featured participants performing in giant puppets on the banks of rice paddies and inside a 250-year-old traditional Kabuki Theatre.

Ivarahd: Stories from Dharavi, India 2012

Snuff Puppets artists worked with thirty participants, ranging from ten to sixty years old, all residents of Dharavi, India’s largest slum. Together they produced a spectacular outdoor giant puppet performance work and performed at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Mumbai. This project won two Australian Arts in Asia awards from the Australian Government Department of Communications and the Arts in 2013.

Pacific Gods, Brimbank 2015

A collaboration with Australian Pacific Arts Network and Brimbank Council in Melbourne engaging Pacific Islander youth to investigate traditional tales of Maté, Rituals of Death. Pacific Gods performed at several community festivals, in front of the Crown Princess of Tonga and exhibited at a local library. After the project the puppets continue to perform including at Light in Winter Festival at Federation Square.

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