Union Internationale de la Marionnette

Non-Governmental Organization affiliated to UNESCO

World Puppet Day 2023, The Call of the Forest 

Last updated: 28-12-2022

“We like to imagine the living world today as a cathedral on fire. But the fabric of life, this evolutionary adventure that weaves together all the species in the biosphere, is not a fixed and fragile heritage. It is a dynamic force of regeneration and continuous creation. Today’s living world is not a cathedral in flames, it is a fire that is going out. (Baptiste Morizot, Rekindling the Embers of the Living”)

This is the subject that Unima proposes for the World Puppetry Day 2023.

The imagination of a call or flight, or simply finding a refuge where the place of legends, myths and tales invites us to feel and go on cross-country paths in the woods to find clearings, springs, and freshness. The forest gathers trees and their leaves, it shelters the wild and durable part, the mysterious and obscure part, the part of risk, loss and abandonment, the part of the glow and oblivion. A territory that we never finish exploring. This part of the territory is the place of breath and astonishment, a place where noise becomes silence, birdsong becomes music, fear becomes courage, the world becomes an enigma. And yet nothing is closer, because the edge of the countryside and the first houses are never very far away. Distances fade away, as do directions. Are we always and already in a blue forest? Once upon a time there was a piece of wood that spoke. So begins the story of the most famous string puppet, Pinocchio. Are we still Geppetto or fire thieves?  

The forest is always in danger, because as a resource it can become an obstacle and a fire. The forest and all that it conveys in terms of imagination and animality is a mirror turned upside down, from the stump to the majesty of memory. The forest is the face of the tree, and of its multiplicity. We are not only looking at the trees, but the trees are also looking at us. In a forest, “he who looks is looked at”, he who touches a trunk is touched by the trunk, is this the “temple of living pillars”. Forests cover vast areas of non-human freedom.  Branches and twigs are forces of warmth. 

We invite you to take a side path and play with pinecones as well as to pick wild fruits, being careful with berries and other poisonous mushrooms. We invite you to listen to the stories of the past that the forests tell. We invite you to discover new paths so that you will never return to the same place again. Listen to the stories and songs of the birds. We invite you to discover the call of the forest.                          

Dimitri Jageneau
General Secretary of UNIMA

Celebrating World Puppetry Day 2023

A common poster

Since 2018, carte blanche is given to an artist to design the poster for World Puppetry Day. Painter and scenographer Ricardo Albello is the artist for 2023.

Each participant can utilise the World Puppetry Day poster, available for download in the three official languages of UNIMA.

A message that connects us

Annually since 2006, a renowned personality from the artistic or cultural sector is invited to write the World Puppet Day message. The message of 2023 will be written by Nina Malikova. Our vision is to put forward the values UNIMA carries and those of this millenary art, to carry a message of cohesion and shed light on puppetry.

Write to your National Centre

A logo

Do not hesitate to integrate the logo of World Puppet Day in your communication!