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Asia-Pacific Commission

Theatre workshop, Mashhad, Iran, 2012 / Photo: UNIMA Mobarak-Iran.

The aims and goals of UNIMA Asia-Pacific Commission in its 22nd session, in Chengdu (China):

To establish bases for artistic exchange and academic seminars and to provide platforms for national centres in the Asia-Pacific area and other UNIMA national centres to display International artistic activities

  • The “Asia-Pacific International Puppetry and Shadow Exhibition and Performance Base” has already been established in Nanchong City, China, and an International Puppetry and Shadow event will be held there every three years that will include activities such as an exhibition, performance and exchange, etc. It will also provide meeting venues for the UNIMA Asia-Pacific Commission.
  • The Commission plans to establish the “Asia-Pacific Research and Communication Base for Puppetry and Shadow Puppetry” in Chengdu (China), which aims to provide a research platform for artists of various countries to study the safeguarding of shadow theatre and puppetry both via static exhibitions in Museums and dynamic inheritance.
  • The Commission also plans to establish an “Experience Base of Shadow Puppetry Skill Inheritance” in Langzhong (China), in which Shadow Puppetry workshops will be regularly held.
  • The Commission will continue to support Shanghai in developing the Shanghai International Puppetry Festival (held every two years) into an influential event of UNIMA.

To rescue, safeguard and support endangered genre

  • The Commission will attempt to provide assistance to certain countries to start general investigations of the endangered genre of the puppetry arts, puppetry families or inheritors with ultra-high techniques, and to conduct rescuing protection, if necessary. The Commission will also try to gradually establish possible archives with texts and images in certain places before the UNIMA Congress 2020.
  • The Commission will also do its utmost to facilitate national centres in establishing connections with performing agencies and international festivals in various countries, in order to promote international exchange activities on puppetry and shadow puppet theatre art.
  • The Commission will support and encourage UNIMA Centres to coordinate with the government in supporting, protecting and inheriting puppet and shadow theatre art and make efforts to obtain financial support from the state government and local government on puppet and shadow theatre art protection projects and representative inheritors.
  • With financial support from UNIMA, the Commission will assist the rescuing protection project of endangered Kelantan Puppetry in Malaysia, and facilitate the submission of text and image materials, video records of the shows and replicas of the traditional puppets to UNIMA and UNIMA Asia-Pacific Commission before 2020.
  • The Commission would grant the “Lifetime Achievement”, “Outstanding Contribution” and “Prominent Contribution” honorary title to respected masters considered like of Living National Treasure.
  • The Commission is also planning to organize an Achievement Presentation of International Puppetry and Shadow Puppetry Heritage Protection and Experience Exchange Seminar in Hunan Province (China).

To organize celebratory activities on “International Puppetry Day” and “Cultural Heritage Day”, and academic discussion activities, promoting communication and cooperation among different countries, expanding the recognition of puppetry and shadow puppet theatre art among the public, and elevating the popularity of UNIMA

  • On the “World Puppetry Day” of March 21 each year, the Commission will suggest that each national centre organize celebratory activities. In China, where the headquarters of UNIMA Asia-Pacific Commission is located, the Commission, together with UNIMA China and China Puppetry and Shadow Art Association will jointly organize all the puppetry and shadow puppetry theatres and troupes in China to display a uniform logo and present non-profit exhibitions, performances and puppetry and shadow knowledge classes at their local theatres, parks, communities, etc.
  • During the Shanghai International Art Festival, the Commission organized the 5th Shanghai International Puppetry Festival and Seminars, as well as non-profit exhibitions and performances.
  • The Commission plans to hold an international experiencing activity on shadow puppetry and puppetry performance, puppet making, teaching, learning and studying.
  • Another plan is to hold an international Conference on Puppetry and Shadow Puppetry Museum, with a specific theme on the relationship between static exhibition and dynamic inheritance, feasible schemes for borrowed exhibitions, short-term touring exhibitions, etc.

Developing international talent training and cultivating and accelerating exchange and cooperation with every UNIMA commission

  • The Commission will enhance its connection and cooperation with the Professional Training Commission and other commissions and puppetry and shadow puppetry educational institutes, and accelerate the scheme of teacher and student exchange between Puppetry and Shadow Puppetry Education Base in Shanghai Theatre Academy with professional schools of UNIMA China and other national centres in the Asia-Pacific region, and promote the comprehensive development of puppetry education and talent cultivation between Eastern and Western countries.
  • Based on a tour of an anterior production, the Commission will also promote transnational exchange and cooperative projects.
  • The Commission will facilitate national centres with the development of short-term training classes of performance, puppet design and puppet making, and will invite experts from different countries to give lectures to broaden learners’ horizons, enhance mutual friendship, and promote exchange and cooperation between Eastern and Western puppetry.
  • The Commission plans to hold teacher-student exchange, exhibition and performance discussion and fruitful promotion activities at the appropriate time.
  • The Commission plans to develop groups of puppetry and shadow puppetry enthusiasts, support professional theatres and troupes to organize short-term training classes on puppetry performance and puppet making for teenagers, middle-aged and elderly citizens. It also wishes to encourage capable communities and schools to establish puppetry and shadow puppetry associations, and organize workshops on puppetry and shadow puppetry performance and making.

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