Saanich resident Teale Phelps Bondaroff marched in the student climate strike in September wearing a giant Babadook puppet. (Charlotte Ballentyne/Twitter)

Giant Babadook puppet marches in Pride parade, student climate strike

‘Baba do something about climate change,” read Babadook’s climate march sign

The Babadook is a psychological horror film from 2014 about a single mother who has lost her husband and is left dealing with her son and his fear of a monster in the house. She soon realizes there is a sinister spirit in the home.

If you attended the 2019 Pride parade in Victoria or the student climate strike in front of the BC Legislature, you may have been confused by the presence of a nine foot tall Babadook puppet straight out of the horror film.

READ ALSO: Ghostly Walks celebrates 20 years of Victoria’s spooky history

Teale Phelps Bondaroff, a Saanich-based researcher and activist, built the puppet and wears it like a backpack at events. The puppet is one of several created for the Saanich-Gulf Islands NDP party, he explained. There’s also a rainbow unicorn – inspired by the television show Adventure Time – that takes five people to operate.

Phelps Bondaroff originally built the Babadook for the Pride parade because the monster has become a gay icon. Legend has it that when the horror film came to Netflix, it was labelled as LGBTQ. No such themes were seen in the movie, he explained. Viewers then decided that the monster itself must be gay.

Phelps Bondaroff thought that with its reputation as an LGBTQ icon, the “black monstrosity” would fit in at Pride and would contrast well with the colourful decorations. He then decided to bring the monster to the climate strike too.

READ ALSO: Classic creepy films on screen at Craigdarroch Castle

“It breaks up the sight-lines and the aesthetic of protests,” Phelps Bondaroff said. “Plus, adults don’t get it.”

The construction took about 30 hours and the homemade puppet was created from hockey sticks, old election signs and other reclaimed supplies. The unique expression of activism is something Phelps Bondaroff wants to encourage. He’d love to see more puppets at events and is happy to lend a hand in construction.

Where will Babadook pop up next? Phelps Bondaroff isn’t sure. However, he noted as long as there’s no rain – the puppet gets heavy when wet – Babadook will continue to march in the Pride parades.


@devonscarlett
devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

With $4M investment, Camosun College offers first sonography program on Vancouver Island

Starting in May 2020 students from Vancouver Island can pursue a career in sonography

School district launches survey for George Jay Elementary name change

The Greater Victoria School District wants to take public cues before decisions are made

Sidney handles plastic bags with wait-and-see approach

Officials say they will wait for courts and provincial action concerning single-use plastic bags

Greater Victoria developer rushes to demolish historic wall before Oak Bay applies heritage permit

Abstract Development punches holes in one of Oak Bay’s oldest stone walls

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

Campbell River homicide suspects arrested in Vancouver

Two men remain in custody, but have not been charged

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

Elizabeth May confirms plan to eliminate fish farming in open ocean pens

Green Party leader stops in Qualicum Beach as part of Island campaign

STRIKE: WFP and USW are back at the table for mediation

“No further updates until either an agreement is reached or one party or the other breaks off talks”

Green Party leader Elizabeth May rolls through Vancouver Island to boost a party stronghold

Mocks media, evokes Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and promises change

Japanese buyer expands wood pellet contract with B.C.’s Pinnacle

Mitsui and Co. increases contract with Interior energy producer

Most Read