12-Foot Puppets Promote Participation - Artists for the SDGS

Mutual Productions

Past Event

Monday, Sep 20, 2021
2:00 PM - 2:30 PM (UTC)


Mutual Productions




Arts & Culture

Climate & Environment



UNGA Guide

Watch the recording of this event here.



This presentation will provide examples of input/output/impact as it relates to community-based creative and artistic practises and their significance to the agenda of the UN Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development (2021).

Examples of project partnerships undertaken in Canada as well as Central/South America and Africa will demonstrate numerous aspects of engagement. Future applications of the methodology will be explored within the context of project work in S.E. Asia and a proposal for United Nations activities that engage the knowledge and skills of Artists and Cultural Leads.



Odette Laramee – Mutual Productions: Founder and Artistic Director



The presentation and discussion will highlight innovative arts-based programming that is designed to engage communities. The focus is on the development of tools which foster communication, responsibility, and action.

Project activities are based in an inter-sectorial approach, which encourages increasing collaboration and engagement in the focus areas: leadership, health, gender, climate action, and the arts.

The projects have four components:

  1. participatory program planning and evaluation which engages community stakeholders,
  2. organizational capacity building and skill development,
  3. community-based awareness programming that incorporates popular education and participatory theatre techniques -- 12-foot (3.6 metre) puppet construction, presentations by community leaders/elders, collective story creation, song writing/drumming, performance, etc.
  4. production of communication tools for large scale dissemination - video, radio, television broadcast, and social media.

Through the collaborative development of story lines, we can look into environmental, social, political, economic, and gender issues. The intention is to foster awareness and action - locally and globally. Also, we work to develop a collective voice and interact with leaders and public officials at the level of policy and funding - from ideation to implementation. This is accomplished through projects with community members - from young people to elders, non-governmental organizations, government bodies, universities / colleges / schools, faith-based groups, media, business, cultural leaders, and creative professionals.

"Puppets give puppeteers permission to explore deeply, yet feel emotional safety as a result of having the distance of being in character. Situations that are part of the social fabric, but are often without voice, are brought into the open through both the comic antics and the serious tones that these giants embody. The fact that giant puppets are visually stunning, employ art forms from music to myth, break the barrier of the printed word, can be presented in local languages, and engage emotion as well as reason ensure they provide a powerful spectacle. We acknowledge grief - and hope - collectively." Odette Laramee


Mutual Productions