Union Internationale de la Marionnette

Non-Governmental Organization affiliated to UNESCO


“Puppet Works Wonders – Fascination and Possibilities of a Medium.”

From August 9th to 18th, 2024, Northeim will host the next Puppet Festival, themed “Puppet Works Wonders – Fascination and Possibilities of a Medium.”

While the title may sound cliché, those who have experienced the impact of interacting with animated figures understand its profound effect. Puppets touch us in multiple ways: sparking empathy, engaging us emotionally, and facilitating discussions on various human themes and interests. As focal points of shared attention, they foster meaningful human interactions, leveraging their closeness to the human form in physiology and cultural history.

The festival and conference aim to explore the allure and transformative potential of puppetry. Organized by VDP and UNIMA, in collaboration with the German Society for Therapeutic Puppetry, the event features a program emphasizing applied puppetry. Drawing on an expanding international network, the organizers seek to invigorate the German puppetry scene. Practitioners from art, social work, education, and therapy will convene to exchange insights.

The program emphasizes practical relevance with a variety of workshops, covering topics from communication using hand puppets to team-building exercises, anti-bullying initiatives, and working with populations facing challenges like dementia and terminal illness.

The “Working Talks” series offers firsthand insights into artistic practices, addressing diverse topics such as environmental issues, care for traumatized refugees, palliative care, and sensitive topics like abuse.

Workshops led by esteemed instructors offer a blend of artistic and therapeutic approaches:

  • Julia Raab explores visual storytelling for existential themes.
  • Cariad Astles examines puppetry’s role in transitional and spiritual contexts.
  • Sonja Lenneke offers a foundational course in therapeutic puppetry and symbolism.
  • Petra Albersmann teaches the construction and use of Kamishibai as a narrative tool.
  • Gilbert Meyer shares methods of visual and physical storytelling that transcend language, fostering immediate healing through narrative creation.

The high-caliber symposium, “Puppet Works Wonders – The Fascination and Possibilities of a Medium,” features an international lineup including Matt Smith from Portsmouth and other experts who will present theoretical perspectives and engage in lively discussions. Puppet theater performances within the symposium promise to enrich discussions and insights.

Scholarships for the conference “Puppet works wonders” from August 9th to 18th, 2024

The conference is organized in cooperation with VDP, UNIMA, DGTP and Theater der Nacht. UNIMA awards a scholarship for students and young professionals. The scholarship covers all fees and entrance costs; only travel and accommodation expenses need to be covered by the recipient.

Please send your application, including your name, address, contact details, and a brief professional history, in an informal letter by June 30, 2024, to vorstand@unima.de.

We will notify you by July 15, 2024, regarding the status of your application.

We look forward to hearing from you!

The detailed program is available online or in print.

Experience transformation, animation, communication, and imagination with puppets, creating boundary-crossing experiences.

Join us in Northeim!

For more information and registration, visit: UNIMA Puppet Works Wonder 2024 or email buero@unima.de.