2019 is a special year for the world of puppetry as UNIMA celebrates its 90th anniversary. March 21st marks the beginning of the celebrations.
But we do it with a mixt feeling of joy and sadness because, while in August 2018, we lost our honorary president, our dear Margareta Niculescu, another loss eclipses this anniversary at the time of writing these lines : Jean-Luc Félix, president of the World Festival of Puppet Theatres has gone to meet up Margareta and so many others who have passed away in recent years. In these days of celebration of the arts of puppetry, which they loved and for which, in a silent and disinterested way, they did so much, our tribute is dedicated to them.
We’re sure that both, wherever they are, wish us to celebrate this day, these days when the puppet actors of Charleville-Mézières are united. We seek awareness, knowledge, celebration around this art we love so much, we carry the presence of the puppet at different locations in Charleville-Mézières and the region. From the Archives départementales (Departmental Archives), through the Musée de l’Ardenne (Museum), the International Puppetry Institute (IIM) and its School, the MCL Ma Bohème (Cultural and leisure center), the Centre des congrès des Vieilles forges (Convention Center), the street… shows, exhibitions, workshops, artistic proposals … are waiting for you to celebrate from March 20th to 23rd this ancient art, present in the cultures of the whole world, and which occupies a central place in Charleville-Mézières and in the Ardennes.
The authors of the poster, Zahra Sabri, Iranian director and scenographer, and the message, the Indian director, puppeteer and UNIMA president, Dadi Pudumjee, are both examples of great humanity and generosity.
Altogether, artists, public institutions and associations, we worked with drive and enthusiasm to prepare a program that we hope you will enjoy. Altogether, we are working towards the realization, towards a future that we hope not too far away, of this dream of which our predecessors would be so proud: “La Cité des Arts de la Marionnette” (The City of Puppetry Arts), converting definitely Charleville-Mézières into the World Capital of the Arts of the puppet.
Long live to the people of Charleville-Mézières, Long live to the Ardennes, Long live to Puppetry!!!!
Secretary General of UNIMA