For us puppets are not dolls with strings. At the centre of all the work in Katkatha is the inanimate material.
From bits of fabric,
to styrofoam figures,
to papier mache sculptures,
to Shakespearean comedies,
to the Indian epics,
and the conflict in Kashmir.
These are all a part of our repertoire.
We are a travelling puppet theatre company which frequents international and Indian Puppet, Performing Arts and Theatre Festivals.
These festivals include Koushuing International Children’s Theatre Festival, Taiwan, International Puppet and Film Festival, Holon, Israel, Linz09 European Culture Capital Festival,Austria, International Women Directors Festival Tehran, Iran. Festival Mondial Des Marionettes-Charleville-Mezeires, France, FIDENA-Bochum, Germany. Subotica International Children’s Festival,Serbia. Guant Festival, Valls, Spain. Figurenteater Festival, Wels, Austria. Puppet Festival Straubing, Germany. Izmir International Puppet Theatre Festival, Turkey and the Rafi Peer International Performing Arts Festival, Pakistan.
We also explore the answer to the question “What is a puppet?” in our collaborative workshops with artists, school teachers and children. These explorations have taken us to conflict zones like Kashmir, Manipur and Sri lanka, to Juvenile Remand homes in Delhi, to Women’s self help group across villages in Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, Tamil nadu and Kashmir and to schools across India.
Puppets have helped us connect to people of all walks of life to tell them stories and hear their stories. We have done shows across urban slums in India, trained community health workers, village school teachers, youth leaders to use puppets to talk about taboo issues in India like reproductive health and sexuality, the stigma around HIV/AIDS, gender discrimination and violence. We believe the puppet has a special license. It can say and show what the human agency cannot! Thus it starts difficult conversations and creates dialogue.