The contemporary circuses breaking social barriers
A group of performers from Lebanon, Palestine, and Switzerland is coming together to rock the traditional circus scene with ‘Juggle Through’ a contemporary social circus.
“Thinking global and acting local” is the mantra they embrace as they collaboratively broaden cultural awareness about their respective organisations. “We’ve been looking for missing elements in each circus so we can complete these gaps,” Cathrina Ighnatious, from Lebanese Cirquenciel Arcenciel explains.
Her circus’ collaboration with Nablus Circus School from Palestine and Swiss Cirqu’en Choc has embarked on exciting ventures earlier this year. Switzerland, with its expertise in contemporary shows, is training the staff from Cirquenciel and Nablus Circus School to become contemporary directors.
“With these techniques, our messages will reach more people because it will be fun to see it, not just hear it. We want to transmit the message with our body, facial expressions, moves, and dance – like theatre, arousing emotions within our audience,” Cathrina points out.
The concept of contemporary circus is still a novel territory in Lebanon, where the trio’s show is expected to take place, come September. Cathrina recognises the challenges their initiative poses, especially as it tackles hot social topics. “It’s hard to talk about sensitive topics like discrimination; it’s not always accepted. But we want to have the strength to act on it, not just talk,” she asserts.
The EU-funded programme All-around Culture played a pivotal role in strengthening the collaboration between these three organisations. Through meetings and workshops in Turkey, Tunisia, and beyond, the programme has helped the 14 performers to find the right balance to “juggle through together”.
For Cathrina, this highlights the value of cultural exchange, “It’s always good to open to others, take, give and reflect on what you learn.”
"Think global, act local, and inspire change. Together, you can make an unforgettable impact."
As part of the EU-funded All-Around Culture programme, Thoulathy initiates and supports collaborations of cultural organisations between countries from the ‘South’ and the ‘North’. Through mentoring and peer support, the project seeks to facilitate partnerships and knowledge exchange, increase competencies in knowledge transfer and intercultural dialogue, and support the mobility of cultural managers and programmers within the Arab region and globally.
TANDEM Media Awards
EU Neighbours South is launching the 2nd edition of the TANDEM Media Awards, a regional media contest, funded by the European Union (EU). The competition is based on the concept of collaborations between pairs. The theme of TANDEM Media Awards is culture, an area in which the EU is active through different types of support and contributions.