‘Puppets Against Aids’ was launched by Gary Friedman in Johannesburg in late 1987, on his return from studying ‘Puppetry for Film and Television’ with Jim Henson in France.
He set up the African Research and Educational Puppetry Programme in order to research traditions of puppet and mask theatre on the African continent. At the same time, he aimed at introducing puppetry into communities that hadn’t been exposed to the art before.
‘Puppets Against Aids’ used both humour and entertainment to help spread the Aids prevention message worldwide, through live performance and workshops. These took place throughout Africa, Canada, Australia and Europe over the next nine years.