Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 7.COM 9.1

The Committee

  1. Takes note that China has proposed Strategy for training coming generations of Fujian puppetry practitioners for selection and promotion by the Committee as a best safeguarding practice:

Fujian puppetry is a Chinese performing art consisting mainly of string and hand puppetry. Puppetry in Fujian Province in south-eastern China has developed a set of characteristic techniques of performance and crafting puppets, as well as a repertoire of plays and music. Since the 1980s, however, the number of young people learning puppetry has diminished due to socioeconomic changes transforming their lifestyles, on the one hand, and the long period of training required to master the sophisticated performing techniques, on the other. In response, concerned communities, groups and bearers formulated the 2008-2020 Strategy for the Training of Coming Generations of Fujian Puppetry Practitioners. The key objectives are to safeguard the transmission of Fujian Puppetry and to enhance its sustainability through professional training to create a new generation of puppetry practitioners; compilation of teaching materials; setting up of performing venues, training institutes and exhibition halls; sensitization of people through non-formal and formal education; regional and international cooperation; and artistic exchange. This strategy has witnessed a wide participation of practitioners, local people and educational institutions. In consequence, 200 potential practitioners have received professional training; 20 public puppetry groups have been established; and financial support has been provided to representative bearers.

  1. Decides that, from the information provided in file 00624, the programme responds as follows to the criteria for selection as a best safeguarding practice in paragraph 7 of the Operational Directives:

P.1:   The programme aims at promoting and transmitting Fujian puppetry through formal and non-formal education, with a focus on training young puppeteers and raising awareness of the general public;

P.2:   The programme has continued earlier examples of international exchanges such as puppetry festivals and an international seminar;

P.3:   The programme contributes to the safeguarding of Fujian puppetry through such means as strengthening transmission, building capacities of young people and raising awareness of the general public, with the participation of the puppeteers concerned;

P.4:   The programme has demonstrated its effectiveness in strengthening the viability of Fujian puppetry through a series of measures such as training a number of potential practitioners, establishing training centres and creating a database to register the repertoire and puppeteers;

P.5:   The programme has seen wide participation of practitioners, administrators, schools and individuals in activities such as development of pedagogical tools, trainings and awareness-raising activities; a large number of signatures show the practitioners’ free, prior and informed consent;

P.6:   The programme to train young-generation practitioners could serve as a model, particularly relevant for traditional performing arts of the region and subregion;

P.7:   The proposal mentions the willingness of the relevant communities, professional institutions and authorities to share their safeguarding experience with other parties and countries by means of the Internet, databases, international conferences, seminars and exchanges;

P.8:   The proposal has provided some evidence that assessment has been conducted during the four years of the programme’s existence, and a set of assessment measures is proposed for the future;

P.9:   The programme provides a methodology that could be applicable to developing countries that could take inspiration from it and adapt some of its components or approaches.

  1. Selects the Strategy for training coming generations of Fujian puppetry practitioners as a best safeguarding practice;
  2. Congratulates the State Party for the tangible evidence of its commitment to safeguarding the Fujian puppetry;
  3. Invites the State Party to assess the activities already taken in the programme, in quantitative as well as qualitative terms.