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Puppets in education …

September 23, 2021
I have taken this image from @DoctorSusanLinn

When I began animating my coat hanger people, I had not realised the amount of dexterity and concentration needed for a few seconds of film. I had expected my people to do all manner of activities and that I might make an epic film. Thus far they can walk about trying to look nonchalant or dance and a long way from making entertainment and educational intent is not possible so far.

Professional animators and puppeteers with scholars are seeing children worldwide exposed to trauma and those whose social-emotional wellbeing has been destroyed. Puppets ‘speak to immediate moral crises … after the genocide in Rwanda and Burundi, UNICEF-sponsored puppet shows in a refugee camp that urged non-violence.’ In the South African version of Sesame Street, a HIV positive Muppet was added to the cast.  Characters from the Israeli and Palestinian versions of the show, play together (Blumenthal, E. 2005)

Doctor Susan Linn, psychologist, play therapist and ventriloquist believes her puppet Audrey speaks and becomes a person with healing skills. In March in response to Covid 19 when the people worldwide were instructed isolate in their homes Linn was deeply concerned with the difficulties families with children would find themselves in.  Since becoming an awarding winning ventriloquist with her duck puppet, she has worked with children from many backgrounds ‘helping them cope with challenging situations, including long term hospitalisations, painful sickness and frightening medical procedures’.  (Amato, F. 2020 p. 26-27)

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