Masasit Mati

The anonymous Syrian artist group Masasit Mati decided to use finger puppets because they were easy to smuggle through checkpoints. Their hugely popular puppet series Top Goon: Diaries of a Little Dictator amassed Internet audiences of up to half a million on YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo. A core group of people are in charge of everything, from acting and scriptwriting to sets and costume design. Their collective, named after the straw for drinking maté, a popular tea in the Syrian countryside, raised funds for a second series with a Kickstarter campaign. International critics have lauded Masasit Mati for their humour, high production values and challenging content from Syria. At the end of a Top Goon episode, an actor whose face is masked comes out of character, and directly addresses the audience: “People, this is the easiest part, believe me. The most important and difficult step is to forgive each other and to build a free, civil and democratic Syria.”

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