The XXI Congress of UNIMA held in the city of Chengdu in China, just choose the city where the next Congress will be held in 2016. It was a fierce dispute between two cities that offered the best of themselves. On the one hand, the Russian city of Ekaterinburg, located in the center of the Eurasian continent on the border between Europe and Asia. Considered the fourth largest city in Russia, it is an important industrial and cultural center of the Urals. Its candidacy is supported by the major center of Russian UNIMA and for the powerful puppet tradition of this great country. On the other hand, the city of Tolosa in combination with San Sebastian, a city that in 2016 will be European Capital of Culture, which guarantees financial and logistics significant attention by the administration.

At the Congress in Chengdu, both cities presented with a good display of media.

Presentación de la propuesta rusa
Russian presentation. Photo by Jim Tobias.

Ekaterinburg surprised us with a very successful and comprehensive video about the reality of this city in central Russia and the power of the Russian tradition. There was a nice choreography with performers in large dolls, representing the typical Russian bear. At the end of the presentation, they showed their generosity and all the enthusiasm to deliver gifts and small items of beautiful designs.

Presentación Tolosa

Tolosa-San Sebastián presentation. Photo by Jim Tobias

Tolosa-San Sebastian also did his homework very accomplished with two videos and a direct intervention of some key figures in organizing the event: the Minister of Culture of the Basque Government Blanca Urgell, the director of the Basque Institute Etxepare Aizpea Goenaga, the Mayor of Tolosa, Ibai Iriarte, Project Director of the European Capital of Culture Donostia 2016, and the President of UNIMA Spain Idoya Otegui. Mariona, the mascot of TOPIC de Tolosa, presented the speakers, manipulated by Toni Rumbau.

It seems that finally convinced the combination of Tolosa-San Sebastian, perhaps for the simplicity but powerful presentation that was made, avoiding grandstanding and focusing on the freshness and sincerity, as the councilors voted for the nomination of Toulouse-San Sebastian.