Balinese puppetry as tool for CHANGE
Life purposes show themselves through different ways; excitement, instinctual drive and/or amazing flow. I grew up in paradise, Waiheke Island in New Zealand, a serene coastline of unspoiled, clean water and forest. Nature was my playground and teacher. Sustainability has always been an obvious, natural way of being for me. The earth provides so I respect its gifts.
During a holiday on the famous holiday island Bali, my partner Jonas Raw and I discovered the plastic pollution issue and discussed what change we could make with our skills. We wanted to contribute to Balinese communities in a loving and kind way, providing our knowledge and ideas to help the health of the people, land, and animals.
Bali has a vibrant performing arts culture which I was attracted to from the beginning with my interests and studies in theatre. The planning began, I would create a show using traditional Balinese puppetry which would teach Balinese children about pollution and sustainable solutions.
After 1 year of fundraising, contacting sponsors and organising puppeteers, we performed 8 shows in local banjars (community halls) throughout Bali. The story used Hindu religion, humour and plenty of heroic characters to draw the Balinese children in while providing underlying messages. After each show, we opened up a discussion to allow the children to share their ideas as prizes we gave out reusable bottles, bamboo straws, and cotton shopping bags.
This year we are continuing our performance tour with similar objectives, on a larger scale. The specific focus this year is on waterway pollution, with high volumes of waste ending up in rivers every day by a majority of the population, killing marine life and ecosystems. Teaming up with Bali Children Foundation, our show/presentation will visit over 60 classrooms in North Bali and Nusa Lembongan Island. Eco-conscious brands such as We’ar have kindly supported our cause by donating stainless steel water bottles to help children reduce their use of single-use plastic bottles.
Everyone has individual gifts which can be used for the greater good. My ambition is to spread awareness to help these beautiful places to remain healthy and enjoyable for the generations to come.
With love and kindness,
Photography by Jonas Raw