Lecture by Gilbert Meyer

III International Conference on Education and Puppets
Lecture by Gilbert Meyer. France

Puppets to facilitate expression and to manage the contradictory emotions of children with AIDS.

1. A changing world full of contradictions

day, as Michel Lacroix points out in his essays on “The cult
of emotion ”(published by Flammarion), emotion has become a
subject to marketing like any other commodity.
owners of our leisure carefully calculating the impact of their tools
alternating horror, surprise, sadness, anger, relief, compassion,
joy, in a game of contrasts that keeps us in suspense. Everything is going well
and the renewal of emotional life through the channels of
circulation incorporate films, video games, which project us towards the
strong tones of the world experience.
emotions proposed on the one hand and sought on the other are one
explosive typology. All these emotions-shock of strong sensations,
they invade us all day long. They are often overly attached
in the definition of the word emotion which means “Who gets into
go ”
This one
Hyper emotion that appears often hides a lack of search for
the hope that is the one that gives opportunity to our problems and
fears. We face an excess of emotions that, unfortunately, often
hides the sensitivity of anesthesia.
We are
caught in a game of contradiction between the explosion of emotions and
feelings. This emotional poverty unbalances our lives
affective and shows us that emotion can be both an advantage and can be
a danger.
for one reason or another, there has been an alteration of ours
sensitivity, we must give materials to re-learn to live from
simple and natural things. That is why we are obliged to move on
through third parties in our relationships, the mediators who can us
help us face what escapes us.
puppets, with their peculiar way of touching emotions are
auxiliaries that allow a structuring action in the chaos of emotions
and they can become allies of the reason that allows to give a character
more durable to feelings.

2. Between white and black we reinvent the colors of the rainbow.

In a dark black and white world, the trembling of emotion gives color to everyone and evokes an emotional echo.
to learn again to have contact with the primary colors and give
attractive to the sensations, create the return for the pleasure of saying ours
face-to-face emotions in an insipid world. 
We need a simple way to find the way emotion becomes a rite
to use the five senses: see, touch, feel, smell, taste.
Giving color to emotions we are trying to say the ineffable. We can say to be afraid of blue, to be red with rage…
we are affected by various problems and all the orders we are given
present, go from the inside out and also from the outside to
within oneself. For example, bad news is ours
thoughts or good news make us burst with joy.
Therefore, it requires a reorientation of the expression, of something that runs in circles or is wrong.
The emotion
it can be a way to escape from oneself, but it is also involved in healing
of oneself to structure our individuality in a world that
it constantly escapes us.
But how to deal with all this?
example in the Congo, in some tribes, there is a ritual in which
a "legacy" mask is offered to a child with a problem. This one
small mask will carry all the problems. The boy holds the mask
and the mask deals with the problem.
Thus, the child is released and often things improve on their own.
I guess you know the South American dolls in which the kids
trust their worries before bed… Examples like these
there are many in the world.
These examples show us that puppets, puppets in their innocence can give us some answers.
Emotion participates in the life of the soul and the body, it is at the interface of the two components of human nature.
The emotion
it is part of the body, it is transmitted by chills, sweating, knot in the throat…
thus turning sensitive areas of the body into a third object…
puppet with his presence is a mirror of ourselves,
it allows us to look back at what is happening in our lives
inside, seek out affections, feelings, and express them.
the process, therapists and trainers, often emphasize the
need to reconnect with the inner self through the
feeling, to discover the true identity.
the construction of a puppet goes through a doubling of emotion,
by a revelation and by the self-observation of self-consciousness
molded out.
the movements through a puppet play allows to pass
of the emotion experienced in reliving it in a transposed context.
For the construction of the puppets we embody the specters that concern us that are in the domain of inhumanity.
We thus create figures that with our impulse revive a new invented life.
a recent visit to Chad, I worked on a treatment team
psychological to encourage the expression of children affected by HIV AIDS. Jo
I even looked at all aspects of program management for myself
understand something.
How can a child be like this and understand what is happening to him?
He can't do anything alone. It is not enough to say and explain. We have to put it in a situation where we can experience things.
only through the complicity of the little stem puppets of
different colors you can set a series of games and during the stage of
creation children let themselves be carried away and dare to express some

slogans of the game involved work on space, on the body,
on children's interaction, on the introduction of imaginary spaces:
for example, a bus trip, or an imitation of the everyday world (the
phone game).

child dares to tell through the puppet, the puppet observes and
he says what he understands and what he does not understand. The puppet is in contact
direct with the confusing situation that makes him manipulate the manipulator and him
it allows the child to express the torrent of emotions and questions that overwhelm him
controlling the development of events. The slogan to
principle was simply to work on the breath that is linked
to emotional changes.
then we did a series of group games with a piece of clothing
cut in the shape of a circle around which eight can be placed
people, each of whom can manipulate a colored puppet by
below and interact with the rest of the puppets.

This space develops a playful framework, but above all a picture full of meaning.
step by step staging at the same present moment watching the
emotional potential of each and the puppet is an instrumental component
which allows you to cultivate your emotions.
problems associated with repression lead to a break with one
same, the splitting of personality, even a form of autism
often circumstantial linked to a milestone, here for example related
with AIDS disease: the subject refuses to admit that he feels
emotions, there is a renunciation of misunderstanding.
This one
self-denial involves an inner unfolding, at the same time with the puppets
you can externalize and have twice as much in front of yourself.
To create
with puppet situations-mirror to identify one's emotions
with those of others, allows you to go through the emotions experienced in
themselves or by themselves.
it tries to unravel what overwhelms the individual and what it looks like
uncontrollable as it degrades its image in its environment.
The puppet does not need to be protected, it is not our ego, it can be like the doll that the girl has and that punishes her uncompromisingly.
I will give an example with pictures of the stories that have been made from pumpkins to deal with the stigma problem.
small pyrographed pumpkins, we represented with a young woman the
fears and emotions experienced by a woman with AIDS, such as her and
her children are rejected by the co-wives, but also like her
he bravely takes his destiny and does not let himself be overwhelmed by his drama.

this example, the emotions of the spectators have been very direct and
honest in regard to tears, to the hesitation of the woman, and
especially by supporting the defenseless victim. People were
able to identify emotions expressed in public without being
become a psychodrama, and the audience applauded the situation that
he usually lives in a hidden way.
is an example of how we can fight against social repression
emotions, and how to free oneself from social limitations, such as
the puppet can be an instrument of insurrection against order
multisecular. In the two examples I will cite we are in the midst of drama about
stigmatization and how to denounce the habits and customs they create
Each family, each social group is nourished by its own emotional micro-cultures.
another example in the Comoros, in the context of a cholera epidemic, is
they used the puppets to denounce the outdated law, the false ones
rumors, and the customs that were causing the spread.

I had a nice experience was when two girls wanted to
re-enacting a forbidden work a few months earlier, on the right
of girls choosing their romantic partner. Needless to say, most
of girls aged 12 to 14 are forced to marry men a lot
greater against their will.
The work
theater was banned, but when it was done with the puppets, the
same performance was applauded by an audience moved to the
What happened?
puppets take away from the big, hidden dramas in a world in
miniature, but above all they give a symbolic space and a frame that avoids
fall into psychodrama.
creation of a microcosm helped to communicate the message and the
emotions without frontally attacking existing society. The bodies of
cardboard questioning social codes can make these
claims, while the bodies of young actresses can not
because they are rooted in the real world and everyday life. It is accepted
because it’s not real-world, because it’s a manageable, good little frame
identifiable. Therefore, it seems less dangerous and subversive.

3-The puppet is a word that is (Claudel)

puppet therapy and especially in my case to intervene in
the fields of psychosocial therapy is to choose, is to place mine
knowledge between two different families of psychotherapeutic methods:
those who work in the verbal field and those who do in the field do not
Of one
on the one hand there is the verbal box that structures and on the other the one that includes
movements, screams, gesture, vocal exercises, tears,
breathing, the tactile creation of matter…
the puppet we direct a release of emotions in several layers,
through physical and energetic processes, and on the structuring side
of the play and theatrical slogans. 
The staging of the puppet play takes on the importance of the role of tragedy.
in his poetry, he spoke of tragedy as a spectacle that
“It awakens pity and fear, and purges the emotions of dramas
of life ”
puppets show us that emotion is not considered an abscess that
it must be emptied, or as a condition to be cured. Emotion is one
end in itself, desirable, as it reflects our true self
We can
to place the puppet in a new concept of catharsis: the goal is not
to free oneself from emotion, but to release emotion from acting on one
Releasing emotions with puppet support is also about creating a space and time to share those emotions.
Like this,
we can pass a shocking magma of the emotions-shock that we
disturbing, a bit like dolls with their paroxysmal beaks, and that we
lead to an exit from emotions-feelings, which on the contrary
they want to settle inside us like alluvium.
through the repetition of the game and the actions done by the puppets we can
slowly open the front doors to the depths of oneself.
It enriches the inner life. And there is a new conversation with oneself that is settling in.
As Rousseau would say, "feeling enters the heart."
The emotion
and feeling become the promise of an attentive life that we
unifies, while emotion-shock agitates us and leads us to a life
distracted that disperses us ..
The stories that the puppets tell us lead us to pay attention to things in life.
it is a matter of time: to change your emotional life, we must
give us time, slow down the pace of your existence, the
slowness lengthens the short space between past and future. The puppet
gives depth to the present.
construction time, make and unmake to improve the puppets, passes
for the positive repetition in the theatrical play, this is what gives time
to feel differently.
On the one hand to let go of being and on the other hand to change our point of view to attract our emotional life again.
Thus the puppets invite us to welcome otherness within us and around us.
We can again admire other possible ones and even give a structuring role in the admiration that unites us.
Like this
the shared admiration in “let’s play together” for others who are us
look and live the emotions with us, as spectators, makes us
establish a social bond. A kind of communion that creates the

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