Siem Reap Giant Puppet Project 2008
In 2007 I facilitated and coordinated (with help from Stuart Cochlin and other local expatriates) the first Giant Puppet Project (GPP). An old friend – Jig Cochrane – came to Cambodia in Jan 07 to lead the workshops which involved 360 local children from schools, orphanages and street kid organisations. It was such a success we decided to organise a second GPP for 2008.
A special thanks to Sue Kaye and my mother Valerie who together with a number of friends arranged a fundraiser in the summer of 2007 which covered the costs of the 2008 project.
The 2008 GPP partnered with the SPOTLIGHT festival, an all inclusive arts festival which took place from February 23rd – March 4th in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
Over 3 weeks, 6 Giant Puppets were created with 200 local children and 40 student teachers from the Provincial Teacher Training College. Each puppet had a different theme.
The Mosquito was created by Student Teachers from PTTC.
The Amputee Footballers were created by the Land Mine Museum children and also children from the International school in Siem Reap.
The Kong Nay puppet was created by kids from the Handicap International Outreach Programme.
The Forest was created by children from COSO.
The Irawaddy Dolphin was created by children from Sala Tesa.
The Bayon Temple was created by children from the Green Gecko project.
On February 23rd the project culminated in a parade through the streets of Siem Reap. Over 260 people took part winding their way up the Siem Reap river ending up in the Raffles Park where we had organised a slide show for all the participants.
The Puppets were then hung in the trees for the weekend, lit up at night to reach their full effect.
All the hard work paid off, it was a great success, the puppets, parade and park display all looked spectacular and the kids had an amazing time. Many thanks again to Jig, Stuart, Zoe, Trixie, Alan, Noung, Savann and all the other fantastic volunteers.