Is it time for the non-human voice to be heard?
Puppet Perspectives: Puppeteers animate inanimate objects. We create them, give them characters, find their voices, assist them to come ‘alive’ on stage and ignite the audience in a collective imagining.
We had a fascinating online conversation on Nov 7, 2022 with panelists Paulette Richards, Clem Martini, Larry Kaputska and Matt Smith hosted by Wendy Passmore-Godfrey.
It’s all just a bit of fun.
But is it really?
As Eileen Blumenthal, writes “Puppets bridge the uncrossable chasm between what’s alive and what’s not, what’s sentient and what’s not.”
In a twenty-first century age of trans-humanism and post-humanism, Trees that Talk, self driving cars, autonomous weapon systems, uncanny valleys, organizations securing rights for non-human animals, #FreeHappy, rivers gaining personhood, The Great Ape Project, Object-Oriented Ontology, Speculative Realism, Green Rights and Indigenous Points of View… ***
Sentience is in question.
Personhood is at issue.
Anthropocentrism is challenged.
WP Puppet Theatre’s Festival of Ideas explores the power of puppetry, as applied in areas of social justice, community issues and cultural anthropology. Sometimes it is crystal clear that puppetry can be a tool for teaching literacy, grab attention in a parade for social action or build community through sharing cultural traditions.
In this case of non-human perspectives or different points of view are puppets are relevant? And if so how? Are puppets really inanimate? Are they ‘just a metaphor’?
These ideas are propelled by our evening performance of Caws and Effect, an award-winning production by Vancouver’s Mind of A Snail. They describe it as “large-scale shadow theatre from a bird’s eye view. Crows are re-dreaming the world. Is the future all it’s cracked up to be?”
What can we learn from the puppet crows – metaphors for the ‘Einstein’s of the Avian World’?
***References in order of listing: (all retrieved 2022–10-17)
- Finding the Mother Tree written by Suzanne Simard
- The Ethos of Digital Environments Technology, Literary Theory and Philosophy – edited By Susanna Lindberg, Hanna-Riikka Roine
- Uncanny Valley Robots or virtual characters trigger mental uneasiness
- The Nonhuman Rights Project
- When a River is a Person: From Ecuador to New Zealand, Nature gets its day in court.
- The Great Ape Project (GAP)
- What Is Object-Oriented Ontology? (OOO)
- The First Annual Green Rights & Warrior Lawyers Virtual Academy and Inspirathon
Puppet Perspectives – Join the conversation!