Each year we work with a wide range of Scottish-based theatre makers on exciting and dynamic projects and initiatives. As well as developing our own initiatives, we collaborate with individual artists and companies, providing practical help in ways which most effectively support their aims and ambitions.
Ongoing: Aberdeenshire Puppetry & Visual Literacy Programme
Each year since 2007 Puppet Animation Scotland has worked in close partnership with Aberdeenshire Council to present educational opportunities for a total of over 1,500 school children throughout region.
Each puppetry and visual literacy residency stimulates meaningful and fun creative learning among the school children participating through the practical exploration of Aberdeenshire’s rich history and Doric culture. Pupils complete a whole series of discrete and complex tasks to create their own puppetry-focused pieces which, at the end of a busy and demanding week, they present to the rest of their school, families and friends.
The active involvement of the teachers in all aspects of the project – and the time spent working alongside the puppeteers during its delivery – provides them with a valuable opportunity to develop their own skills in and understanding of the use of simple, practical arts-focused activities to engage their children imaginatively and meaningfully with key learning and attainment elements of the school curriculum.
2019: Festival Mondial des Théâtres De Marionnettes, Charleville-Mézières, France
We supported Scottish-based company Swallow the Sea to take its caravan theatre to the world’s oldest and most prestigious puppetry festival in northern France. Founded in 1962, this twelve days, biennial event presents over 500 performances created by more than 200 international companies and artists for audiences of more than 150,000 people, as well as an incredibly wide range professional workshops, exhibitions, talks, industry seminars and networking events.
The Swallow the Sea caravan hosted a dynamic and diverse Scottish showcase of puppetry. Seven puppeteers presented six short pieces in repertory with great success throughout the festival. As well as enjoying a valuable opportunity to perform their work, these artists gained great creative inspiration from the wide range of productions they were able to see, as well as engage with a global puppetry community and forge connections with fellow international artists and programmers.
2018: Scotland – Pakistan Puppeteers’ Collaboration & Exchange
We worked with the British Council Scotland as part of a year-long exchange programme to develop useful connections between the Scottish and Pakistan arts and cultural sectors. Scottish-based puppeteer Emma Brierley worked collaboratively with award-winning young Pakistani puppeteer Yamina Peerzada, on the delivery of puppetry workshops at the Women of the World (WOW) Festivals in Perth, Scotland in September, and Karachi, Pakistan in December 2018.
The workshops’ theme, “Women and Girls”, was an appropriate starting point for events programmed during WOW.
Emma and Yamina decided to focus on body image, and work with participants’ responses to and reflections about this subject’s most relevant personal and cultural issues in their respective countries. The work created by teenagers and young adults was added to the active #mybodymyvoice hashtag.
Speaking about the workshop’s impact on participants, Emma noted:
The women taking part had great fun as we made puppets together and then started to use them to explore our attitudes to and relationships with our bodies and celebrate them! Solidarity and celebration are incredible tools in creating, sustaining and supporting communities. One woman initially came to the workshop alone. She made her puppet, was quiet, focused and engaged, then left. Later she came back with her teenage daughter and friend, she wanted them to experience the workshop too. Together we made a space for that family to discuss their bodies in an open and positive way.
This project provided a valuable opportunity for Emma and Yamina to meet the WOW team and begin to explore new collaborations. As a result of the success of these workshops they also worked together on a new educationally focused show which toured schools extensively in Lahore and surrounding areas during the Pakistan Puppet Festival 2019.