People’s Puppet Project

“To produce a local story with local people and stories really touched my heart.” – Workshop community member

Snuff Puppets’ community development workshops – People’s Puppet Projects – bring diverse community groups to work with Snuff Puppets to design, build and perform their own giant puppet spectacles.

People’s Puppet Projects are 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 desires 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.

Workshop community members 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 create work that is meaningful to the community of people who have collaboratively made it. 

A PPP performance may be giant puppet show, roaming giant puppet act, giant puppet parade or some combination of all.

In Victoria, the People’s Puppet Projects can also be used as an outcome project for VCAL (Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning) Unit 1 Personal Development Skills Intermediate and Senior Level.


Please email people (at) to discuss a People’s Puppet Project in your community.


Past People’s Puppet Projects

eawa ppp

East African Women’s Foundation

In 2022, the EAWF Youth Group designed, built and performed a puppet show featuring giant Somali puppets that helped launch the ‘AQAL, Exhibition of Somali Australian Art & Culture’ exhibition in Braybrook, Melbourne.


Democratic Republic of Congo  

In 2017, Snuff Puppets collaborated with Espace Masolo, a cultural center in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.

The center focuses on providing art and education programs to street children, orphans, child soldiers, and adults. 

Espace Masolo also houses a sewing and tailoring school and is home to Fanfare Masolo, a remarkable brass band composed of young adult musicians who have learned music and other skills at the centre over the past twelve years.



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.


Pacific Gods, Brimbank – 2015

A collaboration with the 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 the Light in Winter Festival at Federation Square.


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.

41 past People’s Puppet Projects: 

  • Find Your Voice Collective, Warrnambool, 2024 – News article
  • Indigenous artists at Barkly Collective, Waramungu, Northern Territory – 2023 – VIDEO + PHOTOS
  • East African Women’s Foundation, Melbourne – 2022 – PHOTOS
  • Vietnamese Community in Australia: Victorian Chapter, Melbourne – 2020-23 – PHOTOS
  • Snuff Labb, Melbourne – 2018 – VIDEO + VIDEO
  • Xi’an Drama Festival, People’s Republic of China – 2018 – VIDEO
  • Youth at risk at Maroondah Festival, Melbourne – 2018 – VIDEO
  • Espace Masolo, Democratic Republic of the Congo – 2018 – VIDEO
  • Weiwuying Children’s Festival, Taiwan – 2017
  • Orphans, child soldiers at Espace Masolo, Democratic Republic of the Congo – 2017 – BLOG + VIDEO
  • George Town Festival, Malaysia – 2016
  • Art Setouchi, Japan – 2016
  • Echigo-Tsumari, Japan – 2015 – BLOG + VIDEO
  • Australian Pacific Arts Network, Melbourne – 2015 – MORE INFO
  • Pondicherry, India – 2014
  • Fairfax Festival, Swan Hill – 2013
  • Herning 100, Denmark – 2013
  • Dharavi residents at OzFest, India – 2012 – Winner of two Australian Arts In Asia Awards
  • Yilan International Festival, Taiwan – 2012
  • Hi-Seoul Festival, Korea – 2012
  • Mildura Wentworth Arts Festival, Victoria – with LEAP – 2011
  • Hwacheon, Korea – 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
  • Thames Festival, London – 2007
  • Festival Kesenian Yogyakarta, Indonesia – 2006
  • Horsham, Victoria – 2005
  • Indigenous youth at Worawa Aboriginal College, Healesville, Australia – 2005
  • Activists at the World Social Forum, Porto Alegre, Brazil – 2005
  • Werribee, Victoria – 2004
  • Indigenous youth at Q-Fest, Cue, Western Australia – 2003
  • Oreal Festival, Netherlands – 2003
  • Singapore International Arts Festival – 2002
  • Shizuoka World Cup, Japan – 2001 & 2002
  • Matthew Flinders Secondary College with Back to Back Theater, Geelong – 1998
  • Schizophrenia Fellowship at Bromham Place Clubhouse, Melbourne – 1997
  • Pako Festa, Geelong – 1997
  • Youth Arts + Skills Festival with Sidetrack, Sydney – 1992