Date of creation: 1993
Number of members: 320 (updated 2016)
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75009 PARIS France
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France was a founding member of UNIMA with the 2nd UNIMA Congress held in Paris in 1929. When UNIMA was re-born in 1957 France was a participating member and UNIMA-France began in 1961. In 1972 the 11th UNIMA Congress was held in Charleville-Mézières. Jacques Félix served as General Secretary 1980-2000.
In 1993, the National Puppetry Center (CNM) and UNIMA-France united to become THEMAA (Association nationale des Théâtres de Marionnettes et des Arts Associés) From 2007 to 2010, THEMAA organized the “Seasons of Puppetry” in collaboration with the French Ministry of Culture. Four national organizations – l’Institut international de la marionnette, le Théâtre de la Marionnette à Paris, le CDN de Strasbourg et THEMAA – wrote a text “Pour une reconnaissance pérenne des arts de la marionnette” (Towards a sustainable recognition of the puppetry arts). This text permitted to open working groups about training, creation, production, artistic distribution, research, heritage, publishing, and communication. In 2010, THEMAA spread a petition for and by the profession which achieved 10 essential measures to support the field of puppetry. In the same year, THEMAA joined the UFISC (Union Fédérale d’Intervention des Structures Culturelles), a larger network.
Important projects and achievements
The activities of UNIMA France/THEMAA include public and professional events. The news sheet Mû, L’autre continent du théâtre [Mû, the other continent of theatre] was published until 1999, followed in 2005 by Manip, le journal de la marionnette [Manip, the puppet periodical], a quarterly newspaper sent with an agenda of puppetry news in France. Since 1996, professional meetings of the entire French territory have been held, and in 1999 a survey of professional puppetry structure was organized. In 2001, the first “National Forum” explored the links between contemporary writing and puppetry. In 2001, THEMAA published the Carnets de la marionnette and the Encyclopédie fragmentée de la marionnette. General assemblies of the French puppet profession were held between 2007 and 2010. In 2008, an interactive website was created. Two exhibitions were held in partnership ?Marionnettes, territoires de creation? (2011 – 2013) and the exhibition “Craig et la marionnette” with the BNF (France National Library) (2008).