Thinking Out the Box is a celebration of recent scholarship and theory about puppets and features something for all imaginations. Past editions have included talks about the origins of puppetry; new experimental ways of considering the art form: the traditional uses of puppetry in the Middle East presented by an Iranian scholar, and the innovative exploration of puppetry manipulation using hospital beds as stages, a form that is a therapeutic medium in Argentina.
Notable African presentations in the 2011 Thinking Out The Box conference included local animator Zapiro discussing the weirdly real/unreal puppets from Za-News; talks on Mocambiquan masking performance traditions, several papers exploring the expanding field of puppetry and film; and, in a celebration of Handspring’s “War Horse” production, there was a paper on the Horse and the Machine.
The list of papers presented in 2011 follows below:
Thursday 8 September 2011
11h00 – mariachi no 17 – video projection and seminar with La Ribot, Switzerland
12h00 – Spirit, Animal, Style: on mimesis in African masquerading with Paolo Israel, South Africa
14h00 – Sample, an experiment in live performance sampling with Sanjin Muftic, South Africa
15h00 – Between the living and the dead – Skeletal visibilities with Jade Gibson, South Africa
16h00 – In the Beginning was Silence: the puppet voice in Redmoon Theatre’s The Cabinet with Dawn Tracey, USA
17h00 – Puppets and Objects in the post-metaphysics theatre with Dr Hamidreza Ardalan, Iran
19h00 – Zapiro and the News with Jonathan Shapiro, South Africa
Sunday 11 September
14h00 – Objects’ mystical power from ancient rituals to modern theatre with Poupak Azimpour Tabrizi, Iran
15h00 – Women in Puppetry with Aja Marneweck, South Africa
16h00 – Horses and Machines in Time and Motion with James Sey, South Africa
17h00 – Film and Puppetry with Penny Siopis, South Africa