In a rapidly globalizing world, there is a growing need to rediscover and share artistic expressions and traditions which are rooted in cultural practices. These might be strongly localised but at the same time disclose a potential to travel to other cultures, together with their practitioners, and mix with different cultural traditions and artistic forms. A very expressive form of popular culture is puppet theatre, a cherished art form which witnesses the co-mingling of different contemporary artistic expressions like video art, installations, music, dance, animated films, theatre with live actors, video games, and more.
PUPPETS will take these fascinating artistic practices as a starting point for an interdisciplinary research platform. The project will actively engage puppeteers, scholars (often practitioners themselves), schools, theatres, museums, and experts in new technologies, all of them engaged in investigating how these artistic practices have conveyed, and still might convey old and new representations and imaginations of Europe: at its borders, across the borders and in dynamic interrelation to other artistic forms and non-European artistic traditions.
The multimedia learning tools and the laboratories developed by the project will let students and professionals engage on pressing identity issues of cultural diversity and problematize historical legacies in contemporary Europe by studying and actively performing them in new actualized forms.
The innovative performances resulting from scholarly work and co-creative workshops, enhanced through the adoption of current and state-of-the-art media and web technologies, will help connect and articulate culture-specific traditions in a Pan-European network based on intercultural exchange, and foster collaborative reflections on past and present performances of European identity and the roles which the re-enactment and actualisation of these specific artistic practices can play in it.