Using puppetry to raise awareness of sustainability

“Out of The Box brings together visual arts, projection, performance, dance, movement and rhythm, but most importantly it brings together people.”

Our vision is to see outstanding puppetry arts used to create sustainable development and in the realization of human values such as integration, peace and mutual understanding. Our mission is to promote artistic excellence, social cohesion, cultural awareness, and environmental sustainability through the power of puppetry. To do this, we are holding th Out of the Box Festival of Puppetry and Innovation in Cape Town, 3-11 September 2011.

The annual ‘Out The Box’ Festival of Puppetry and Innovation is a 10-day multidisciplinary event celebrating creativity, diversity and sustainability. After 5 years Out The Box is now the largest festival of puppetry and visual theatre in Africa, and attracts artists from all over the world. Our audiences have grown steadily year on year with 2010 boasting in excess of 10 000 visitors attending the adult, family, and film festivals as well as exhibitions, participatory workshops and talks that run throughout the day and evening at selected venues in Cape Town.

The festival is designed to build bridges between artistic and cultural communities and inspire a love of diversity through the Arts. Our team is fully committed to ensuring that the festival is relevant, inclusive and accessible. One of the artistic aims of the festival is to provide a platform for performing and visual artists to collaborate, push the boundaries and blur the lines of their discipline to create provocative, relevant and groundbreaking work.

In 2011 Out The Box is focusing on issues of global climate change. The festival has created a platform specifically for theatre that stimulates thinking around the big environmental question of our time. For the festival as a whole, we are working with a number of artists and key stakeholders  (including COPART) to raise awareness around climate change and specifically looking at how we can create opportunities for interaction with the public to explore and inspire new behaviors for sustainable living.

Out of The Box is the only festival in South Africa that specifically caters to children and youth in terms of shows and interactive workshops.  Children of all ages and backgrounds are exposed to new ideas and mind-opening experiences both artistic and educational. Out The Box 2011 will focus on bringing the leaders of tomorrow into creative conversations around questions of sustainability.

UNIMA SA’s training and development program also ensures that underdeveloped artists have an opportunity to participate in the Festival and potentially win a place in the Active Puppets mentorship program.      

The festival is shaping up to be an explosion of puppetry and visual theatre, and we are excited to share these amazing artists and performances, both local and international, with our audiences. Artists Project Earth’s contribution has allowed us the opportunity to extend and reinforce our commitment to using the arts as a means to promote and raise awareness to issues affecting the environment.

Once again, on behalf of UNIMA SA, Out the Box Festival, and everyone who will be able to experience and enjoy Visual Theatre at its best, a sincere thank you.


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