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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Puppets in theatre for social change: an analysis of the popularity of puppets in Africa
Author:Kruger, MarieISNI
Periodical:African Performance Review
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:puppet theatre
Abstract:Puppets have become increasingly popular in theatre for social change in Africa. An analysis of the reasons for this given by prominent practitioners points to the dual and symbolic nature of the puppet which enables it to be a representation with an extraordinary degree of freedom of expression that can surpass the capabilities of an ordinary actor to intervene in political and social issues which involve a number of barriers. A heightened presence of imagination, combined with the abilities which stem from the intrinsic qualities of puppetry and the defining visual nature of the art form seem to lie at the root of an explanation for the presence and popularity of puppets in theatre for social change even in countries with no precolonial history of the art form. The article focuses on South Africa, where puppets have been used in educational entertainment more extensively than in any other African country. The most prominent initiative is the African Research and Educational Puppetry Programme, founded in 1987. Projects discussed include Puppets against AIDS (1988), Puppets in prison (1996), and Puppets for democracy (1994). Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]