Over the years Katkatha has grown organically to expand the possibilities of using puppetry by looking at applied puppetry and exploring multiple collaborative projects both in India and abroad. What is applied puppetry? In short, it is the exploration of the art form beyond its entertainment value, in fields like education, advocacy, awareness building, initiating discussion on socio-political issues and aiding in therapy.
Community and Peacebuilding Projects –
Kashmir Project (2006). Supported by WISCOMP, this project took place in Kashmir, in the village of Beejbehara, near Srinagar where 25 young women aged of 18-25 worked with team Katkatha using masks and puppets and writer B.Gauri for 7 months to explore personal stories of growing up and living in Kashmir through the conflict years and the poetry of sufi poetess Lal Ded (whose shrine lies in Beejbehara) . The process culminated in a show by team Katkatha, scripted by B Gauri and titled Kashmir Project which premiered in 2007.
Watch Kashmir Project Part 1 here.
Watch Kashmir Project Part 2 here.
Community and health
CREA project performance - Mujhe bhi Gino (2009). This roadshow with a difference included 20 young women from Jharkhand and UP who travelled with team Katkatha on the back of a truck to use giant puppet heads and puppets at public spaces, like market places and village sqares, to celebrate and tell the story of local women achievers and to enable their own communities to look at women with a different lenses.
Community Health Project in collaboration with World Bank, CHEALSEA and Make Arts/Stop AIDS. An HIV/AIDS awareness program that ran for over 8 years and spanned 5 states of India included the play Virus ka tamasha
Watch Virus ka Tamasha here
…that performed over 150 shows, a project called Khel-Khel Mein (Video to be edited) with teenagers from 5 statesof India, who had been infected or affected by HIV or AIDS. The group made a puppet performance for their peer group based on their own stories and ICTC material and these were replicated in 2000 Do-it-yourself puppet kits distributed by NACO across 5 states of India.
Workshop with the juvenile remand home, collaboration with the NGOs, Prayas and STEP.
Community and Gender Project
A performance called Gender Tamasha was created with the support of Pravah (2013) The show explored the idea of safe spaces for women at work, on the streets and at home. Using giant puppet heads these non-verbal pieces explored the everyday gender realities of India asking people to stop oppression based on gender by speaking up. The project is still running online as the MustBol campaign.
Watch Office here.
Watch Bus Stop here.