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Lutka Journal

Photo: Ajda Schmidt

LUTKA is a journal for puppetry and animated forms. In its professional discussions it deals with Slovenian puppetry art from the point of view of the theory, history and development of contemporary puppetry. 

Autumn 2022, n. 61


This new issue of the journal offers a historical and contemporary overview of the practises of puppetry that encompass socially engaged theatre and, more broadly, put their political nature into practise. Puppetry can operate on the level of direct performance action and resistance, but also on the level of theory to dismantle established conventions of how we think about social aspects of reality. The theoretical contributions in the new issue also question the rationale of the treatment. On the theatrological level and also on the level of social spheres, they offer a new starting point for reflection. Their understanding goes beyond the binary construct (animate : inanimate, human : non-human, animate : animator) that has often been used to define puppetry. It turns to the dissolution of binarism - the possibility of a different, horizontal and more fluid approach to the puppet. This kind of starting point can also be applied to social fields, for example to rethinking the concept of gender and to a specifically distanced understanding of human beings, society and history.

The multilingual journal is supported by the Creative Europe project Contemporary Puppetry Critical Platform, which brings together four well-known European institutions with a rich puppetry heritage. In addition to Lutkovno gledališče Ljubljana, the project also involves the Academy of Arts and Culture from Croatia, the Vilnius "Lele" Theatre from Lithuania and Puppet Animation Scotland from the UK. The main aim of the project is to re-establish the theory and critique of puppet theatre as an element of public discourse. The project has established a contemporary puppet network and an online platform, ECPCP, where international reflections and theatre analyses in the field of contemporary puppetry can be accessed.

The editor-in-chief of the journal is Tjaša Bertoncelj. The editorial board consists of Ajda Rooss and Benjamin Zajc, the international editorial board consists of Ramune Balevičiute, Gareth K. Vile, Igor Tretinjak. Designed by Ajda Schmidt. 

Photo Ajda Schmidt
Photo Ajda Schmidt
Photo Ajda Schmidt
Foto Ajda Schmidt
Photo Ajda Schmidt

Autumn 2019, n. 60

The 60th issue of Lutka gathers expert contributions from local and international authors on the impact of modern technologies on the development and perception of contemporary puppetry. It aims to present the diverse practises of interdisciplinary and hybrid forms of contemporary puppetry and to address the current problematic currents that accompany them. It provides an opportunity for reflection on the fundamental questions we face when considering current currents in puppetry: How can we redefine and treat the puppet; to what extent can the influence of new media expand its definition and even influence the development of a new puppetry terminology; how do contemporary practises bring it into a completely new relationship with animators, material, movement, object, voice, etc.? And finally: does the puppet or the animated object really still need an animator, since it seems that - strengthened by the new technology - it can develop a life of its own? The magazine offers new connotations and insights, focusing on expanding the perception of the puppet in relation to the new technologies. It shows that it is not stagnant in its traditional basis, but that it strongly reflects the present time by adapting to the contemporary social structure and representing it through its aesthetic and contextual expression. With its inherent breadth, with the possibility of creating infinite things out of nothing, it can transform itself into a current, open, exploratory art form.

The journal is published in three languages - Slovenian, English and French. It was edited by Ajda Rooss, Tjaša Bertoncelj and Maša Jazbec and designed by Ajda Schmidt. The designer won the prize for outstanding Slovenian design at the 9th Brumen Biennale.

The magazine is part of the N.A.P.P. project co-financed by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.


Autumn 2016, n. 59: Joint issue of Lutka and Maska journals

This issue of the journal is both The Journal for Puppetry Arts and Theatre of Animated Forms – Lutka and Maska – The Performing Arts Journal, and it is dedicated exclusively to animation in contemporary theatre, both in its broad range of authorial writings and writings about animation. It is the result of the first comprehensive collaboration between two longstanding Slovenian theatre journals (Maska was founded in 1920, and Lutka in 1966). Initially, at the time of its conception and editing, this issue was rather immodestly called a “collection”, and this description probably comes closest to the result. The special joint edition of Maska and Lutka was largely a result of the 12th iteration of the educational programme The Seminar of Contemporary Performing Arts, which took place during the 2014/2015 academic year, and which was conceived and carried out in a collaboration between Maska Institute and Ljubljana Puppet Theatre, and it was dedicated to the art of animated forms in the context of contemporary art.

Journal Maska / journal Lutka

Autumn 2014, n. 58

This issue was conceived with the support of the European project EPKE (European Puppetry Knowledge Exchange Project), which connected puppet technologists from various European theatres and thus enabled a prolific exchange of their professional knowledge. The project, established at the beginning of 2013 in collaboration among the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre (Lutkovno gledališče Ljubljana), the Czech Drak Theatre (Divadlo Drak) and the Estonian NUKU Theatre (NUKU Teater), has been financed by the European Commission within its Culture Programme. The first workshop organized under the patronage of this project – The Marionette: Between Tradition and the Present – was thematically focused on “the queen of puppets” – the marionette, which also became the topic of the journal. That is because marionette theatre is crucial in the development of Slovenian puppetry. The main emphasis of the workshop was placed on the marionette’s different head functions and facial expressions. Therefore, summed up in this edition of Lutka are the new findings in the field of marionette technology enabled by the development of new materials; our main attention is devoted to different marionette controls, one of which is certainly unique to the world – the Slovenian “Ciril’s control”. Also published here are the two basic anthological essays on the marionette that have inspired many puppeteers and other creators within the realm of theatre. 

Journal Lutka