Shadows, Strings, and Other Things
“For thousands of years, knowledge holders and storytellers around the world have engaged puppets as a means to dramatize the human experience. Puppets have been delighting, entertaining and educating audiences of all ages, letting our imaginations soar. Puppets are the precious purveyors of our epics, dreams and satires.” - exhibition statement excerpt from the Museum of Anthropology’s Shadows, Strings and Other Things
Inspired by the MOA’s exhibition by the same name, this project worked with the art form of puppetry to create short films that were shared in a puppet film festival. Students began the project by engaging with a variety of puppet types from cultures across the world, including finger puppets, shadow puppets, hand puppets, marionettes, and others. They used puppets to retell stories from Indigenous groups across Canada while learning about the land we are on, the people who first inhabited it, and the relationships people had and continue to have with the land. Then, students selected a puppet form that they enjoyed most and used that style of puppetry to perform original scripts. With the help of our digital artist in residence, we filmed and produced the plays and shared them in an afternoon of puppet film fun!