The Kenya International Puppetry Festival

KIPf 2009


The Kenya International Puppetry festival (KIPf 2009) Organization Committee invites

you to submit a proposal to participate and present at the Fourth Edition of the Kenya

International Puppetry Festival, (KIPf 2009) to be held in Nairobi, Kenya from 10th -17th

October 2009.


KIP festival 2009 comes a time when the world is at war with itself. Kenya has just come

out of it and its effects are massive. The 2007 post election violence resulted in looting,

injury and loss of life, burning and destruction of private and public property worth

millions of shillings. The Middle East, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Somali, Sudan among others

are right at the centre of it. The most affected by these wars are African countries south of


KIP Festival 2009 will take place using the fundamental belief that Cultural Diversity

through Art creates peace, unity, harmony and builds consensus. Often people are

identified as artists because they see the world differently, because their perspectives are

unique, their means of self-expression are also unique. Their art lies partly in their ability

to make us question our assumptions and beliefs, to encourage us to consider different

visions of the ordinary. For surely there is no higher purpose or greater need in our

society today than the development and nurturing of the skills and attitudes of peace


The festival recognizes that puppetry is one of the world most powerful tool in peace

and consensus building. KIP Festival organizers believe that if only a fraction of the

money spent worldwide on conflict could be spent on peace programmes and

development of puppet theatre programmes, a future of peace and hope in the postconflict

countries around the world will be achieved and guaranteed. Peace occurs when

we recognize all individuals as citizens deserving of inclusion, respect, dignity, choice

and justice, and when all are given opportunities for contribution.

It is from this background that KIP festival 2009, Community Health Awareness

Puppeteers and UNIMA Kenya in solidarity with Union of puppeteers around the world,

UNIMA Internationale is dedicating Kenya International Puppetry Festival 2009 to

creating peace in the world.

The theme of KIP Festival 2009 is “Cultural Diversity for Peace and Unity Through

The Art of Puppetry”.

It is the fundamental belief of KIPf 2009 that Cultural Diversity through Art creates

peace, unity, harmony and builds consensus. KIPf 2009 recognizes that puppetry is a

powerful performing art form that can also promote peace and build consensus

This is the only Puppetry festival in Africa dedicating its calendar year activity for peace

and reconciliation in Africa.


The Kenya International Puppet Festival was formerly known as Edupuppets

International Puppetry Festival. It was initiated by the Family Programmes Promotion

Services (FPPS) in 2002 through its puppetry program, the Community Health and

Awareness Puppeteers (CHAPS) who had established and implemented a successful

nation-wide programme using puppetry for development purposes and for social change.

Since then, three international puppetry festivals (2002, 2004 and 2006) have been


Edupuppets 2002 was the first international puppet festival in the East and Central

African region. With the theme Building Bridges through Puppetry for Community

Education and Development, it assembled 30 visiting puppeteers from all over the world

and 100 Kenyan puppeteers.

It was followed by Edupuppets 2004 which celebrated the power of puppetry as a

performing art form that could promote cultural integration and cooperation under the

broad banner Puppetry: Art, Aesthetics, Education and Cultural Integration. 20

puppeteers came from Austria, Finland, the Netherlands, Germany, Singapore, France,

the USA, and Israel to perform and conduct workshops.

After the second festival, it became clear that KIPf had entered the cultural calendar the

world over as a biannual event.

The 3rd festival, now re-named Kenya International Puppet Festival (KIPf 2006) was

jointly organized by CHAPS and the then newly formed Union International de la

Marionette (UNIMA) Kenya Chapter. Its goal was to present a puppetry that was multidisciplinary,

inter-cultural, cross-border and experimental under festival theme Puppetry:

art, and cultural integration.

In 2008, the festival was postponed due to the events of the widely disputed December

2007 post election violence.

The first three Festival editions i.e. in 2002, 2004 and 2006 were an outstanding success.

They brought an outpouring of energy and creativity to Nairobi. Visiting puppeteers from

the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, USA, South Africa, Finland, Indonesia, Israel,

Uganda, Malawi and Wales, Singapore, Italy, Austria, Japan and France joined Kenyan

puppeteers in displaying there skills on puppet theatre aesthetics, performances, stylistics

and art education through diverse puppet theatre performances, skills exchange

workshops in major cultural centres, streets, parks and institutions within the central

business district of Nairobi.


Proposal for presentation will cover a wide range of theatre genres. The festival

coordinating committee will be keen to receive proposal for:

• Puppets, mask, marionette, object and visual theatre performances (open to any

kind performance – not restricted to education shows)

• Workshops on script writing for puppets, puppet construction and manipulation

• Exhibition of mask, puppets, publication or reading materials on puppetry

• Plenary discussion and exchanges on the use of puppetry in community education

It is recommended that proposals for performances include a digitalized recording and

photos for performance. The proposals should be received by 30th May 2009. The

Formatting Committee may use the information contained in it for festival publicity.


A unique aspect of the KIP festival 2009 will a two day plenary presentation for at least

30 puppet theatre directors and instructors from around the world. Presentation in this

forum will include new puppetry work and sharing of ideas. The forum will also develop

strategies on the sustainability of Africa UNIMA Chapters and Africa Commission


KIP festival 2009 targets participants from all over the world. We encourage Africa

troupes’ participation as it will be an opportunity for African Commission to meet and

forge a way forward. Participants are advised to seek sponsorship to meet their travel,

accommodation and personal expenses.


Nairobi, the host city, is the capital of Kenya. The name “Nairobi” means the place of

cool water” the city which is over hundred years old is a modern centre of com

finance, industry and diplomacy. It is a favorite tourist destination. A superb network of

world class well managed game parks, biosphere reserves, archaeological sites and pearly

white sandy beaches are all easily accessible from the city. Some of these attractions are

less than 50 Km from the city centre! Kenya offers some of the finest natural attractions

in the world. Her prolific and well conserved wildlife is unparallel.

A well designed grid of infrastructure links all these scenic attractions with Mombassa,

the gateway to Kenya Coast and the country second largest city, and Kyushu, the lakeside

town by the shores of the world famous Lake Victoria. Jomo Kenyatta International

Airport, a premier airport in the region is only 15 minutes drive from the city centre.

Festival venues are within walking distance in central Nairobi.


Accommodation is easily available in Nairobi during the festival period. Although the

Organizing Committee will ideally prefer all participants to stay in the same place, a goal

to which we will strive, there are alternatives. These include home stays, hostel and hotel

at daily rates ranging from US$20 to US$100 for bed an breakfast. Participants are

strongly advised to make reservation early through the festival secretariat.



Phylemon Odhiambo Okoth

The Festival Coordinator/ President – UNIMA Kenya

KIPf 2009 – C/o UNIMA Kenya /FPPS {K} CHAPS

PO Box 46042 – 00100, Nairobi, Kenya

TEL, 254-02-715002/710705

FAX, 254-02-715115

Mobile : 254 – (0) 733232192