Puppetry Centre – UNIMA


UNIMA (Union Internationale de la Marionnette) is an international non-governmental organisation bringing together people from around the world who contribute to the development of the art of puppetry, with the objective of using this art in the pursuit of human values such as peace and mutual understanding between peoples, regardless of race, political or religious convictions and differences in culture, in accordance with the respect of fundamental human rights, such as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations of December 10th, 1948.

UNIMA was established in Prague, Czechoslovakia, on 20 May 1929, during the 5th international congress of puppeteers that hosted many guests from Bulgaria, France, Yugoslavia, Germany, Austria, Romania and the Soviet Union. In a friendly atmosphere, the idea to establish an international puppetry organization came to mind. UNIMA, established as a small association of friends, has become a global organization. It should be noted that the international UNIMA has been the very first theatrical organization in the world.


The aim of UNIMA is to promote the art of puppetry. This aim can be achieved in the following ways:

1) By encouraging contacts and exchanges between puppeteers from all nations and continents, using all possible means of communication;

2) By organising congresses, conferences, festivals, exhibitions and competitions, or by giving UNIMA endorsement;

3) By assisting members of the Organisation in assuring their democratic, union, financial and legal interests in the framework of their professional activities, notably through recommendations or proposals to the competent authorities;

4) By encouraging professional training;

5) By extending historical, theoretical and scientific research;

6) By keeping alive traditions, as well as encouraging the renewal of puppetry;

7) By proposing puppetry as a means for ethical and aesthetic education;

8) By participating in the work of international organisations with similar objectives.


UNIMA Members

All people interested in the art of puppetry can be an UNIMA member.

The Ruling Bodies of UNIMA

The ruling bodies of UNIMA are: the Congress, the Council, the Auditing Commission, the Executive Committee, the General Secretariat, the Commissions, the National Centres and the Representatives.

The Congress

The Congress, supreme body of UNIMA, consists of the elected Councillors, the Representatives, the outgoing members of the Executive Committee and the attending members of the Organisation. The Councillors and outgoing members of the Executive Committee only have the right to vote. The Congress is held at least once every four years.

The Council

The UNIMA Council consists of the Councillors democratically elected by the National Centres at least 9 months before each Congress for a four year term, the appointed Representatives, the ten additional Councillors elected during the previous Congress, the members of the Executive Committee and the attending members. Only the Councillors and the members of the Executive Committee have the right to vote.

The Executive Committee, the President, the General Secretary, the Treasurer and the Vice-Presidents

The Executive Committee directs UNIMA activities between Congresses. The General Secretary coordinates the activities of UNIMA; is responsible for the financial affairs of UNIMA together with the Treasurer.


Current commissions are:

National Centres and Representatives

Only one National Centre can exist per Country. The Centre may consist of regional sections.

The Czech UNIMA Centre resides in the Arts and Theatre Institute (Celetná 17, Prague 1, 110 00). Since the 6th General Meeting on 4 November 2011, the Bureau of the Czech Centre has had the following members: Jaroslav Blecha, Stanislav Doubrava, Alice Dubská, Jan Dvořák, Alena Exnarová, Tomáš Froyda, Simona Chalupová, Nina Malíková (chairwoman), Jan Novák, Lenka Šaldová. The Czech Centre helps to organize the annual festival One Flew Over the Puppeteer’s Nest (together with the Loutkář magazine), and annually awards the Erik prize for the most inspiring performance of the year.

For more information, visit unima.idu.cz

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