Union Internationale de la Marionnette

Non-Governmental Organization affiliated to UNESCO


27th October 2022

above the greyblack wastes
A tree-
high thought
grasps the light-tone: there are
still songs to sing beyond

(Paul Celan, 1968. Translation by Pierre Joris)

Dear Presidents, Councillors, members and friends,

In a world more and more upset, the arts are more and more questioned as need and desire to invent answers, as well as to reformulate the questions asked. The puppet arts do not escape these constant challenges and all the more constant as they reveal visions of dialogue, hope and creativity beyond the borders and differences of traditions and visions. UNIMA is all the more necessary as it not only accompanies the visibility of our puppetry arts, but also gives stronger voice for puppetry and puppet culture for developing mankind and brotherhood/sisterhood.

With the increasing challenges worldwide, we will launch the Solidarity Fund for national centres which face issues with membership payment. These would be due to environmental and political crisis outside of their control. Any national centre or member who wishes to contribute to the Solidarity Funds may write to Emmanuelle Castang at the Secretariat, contact@unima.org, to inform her about your donations. You may donate through our Paypal account available here. Feel free to write directly to me, should you have any questions about the Solidarity Fund. This Solidarity funds could also help centres for their virtual or physical participation to the Council Bali from the 26th to 30th April 2023. This Solidarity Fund is a core fundraising for helping our members in their difficult situations as their possible presence to our important Council in 2023.

About our Bali Council, I look forward to our decisions as a collective intercontinental body, on the motions proposed for the Rules of Procedure and Statutes of UNIMA, and ask that you submit the registration form as soon as you can to our hosts, UNIMA Indonesia, so they can make their preparations. To view the details of Council 2023, please visit our webpage, www.unima.org/en/councils/bali-2023. In order to prepare the Bali Council in the best possible way, we ask all Centres and Representations to send us a written report of their Centres and Representations. We also ask you to prepare 3-minute presentations of the centres and representations for the presentation moments during the Council. This presentation can be a video or a document with photos. I would like to ask you to send your reports before the 27th February to the email info@unima.org or / and to contact@unima.org.

Regarding to the strategic projects of communications and fundraising, I wish to introduce everyone to our latest team member of the Secretariat, Terence Tan, who has recently completed his three-month orientation with us. You should have heard from him as he helped distribute my letter “On the Need to Dream” and updated our contact list of Councillors. He will be consulting and support UNIMA International in the work of fundraising and communications. He and his team will also help develop a hybrid of physical and digital communications in the coming Council meeting and Congress. This is to allow greater representation and inclusion among all our National Centres. With this growing team, Emmanuelle Castang will expand her work in the development of UNIMA International’s intercontinental projects and international presence with UNESCO. Do continue to write to her regarding proposals and updates on UNIMA projects, grants, and membership fees.

Already regarding our 2024 Executive Committee meeting, I would like to appeal to our centres to host this hybrid meeting between the Bali Council and the Chuncheon Congress in 2025. We are opening up applications until the Bali Council.

The next World Day 2023 will propose as theme the call to the forest. We ask you already your participation for this event which will open a year 2023, hinge for numerous projects in progress for our organisation. As in previous editions, we ask you to register your activities and send us your videos before 15 February.

In December 2022, we will also organise new Open Sessions on the question of what it means to be a volunteer for Unima. Any contribution and knowledge of the centres as well as of the practices of other organisations will be highly appreciated to feed our reflections and our decisions to always move forward and develop our organisation.

I wish to express my thanks to the commissions who have kept our love for puppetry going, our support for puppeteers and crafts people regardless of nationality, and the commissions who help keep UNIMA relevant and connected. Some of their activity will be more visible, but there are others whose works quietly, but vitally, nourish us.


Yours Sincerely,
Dimitri Jageneau
General Secretary, UNIMA

*image insert: Loutky Marionnettes by Dusan Swalens