We Must Clown!

يهدف مشروع “تهريج إجباري” إلى جمع إثنا عشر مؤدٍ غير محترف (فلسطينيين، سوريين، ولبنانيين) مختارين من المجتمعات المهمّشة و المتركزة في خمس ضواحٍ من لبنان (بيروت، جبل لبنان، البقاع، الجنوب والشمال).

سيمنح هؤلاء برنامج تدريبي محترف عن فن التهريج في مدينة بيروت لتمكين قدراتهم وسينتج عرض واحد يؤدى في خمس مناطق مختلفة في لبنان بمشاركة من أعضاء “Clown Me In”، كما سينتج خمس فيديوهات مدتها ثلاثين ثانية يتم تداولها عبرالانترنت.

سيتناول عرض الشارع والفيديوهات المنتجة مواضيع متعلقة بمشاكل اجتماعية معينة يتم اختيارها من قبل المشاركين أنفسهم . ذلك سيؤدي إلى إلقاء الضوء على بعض من هموم هذه المجتمعات والتحفيز على ابتكار وإنتاج أعمال مستقبلية تسعى لمعالجة هذه المشاكل  وإيجاد حلول لها.

هذا المشروع بتمويل من “صِلات: روابط من خلال الفنون” و Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Art

 

The project aims to bring together 12 non-professional clowns ( Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese) from disadvantaged communities in the 5 districts of Lebanon, giving them professional clown training,  devising a street clown performance together with 3 clown members of Clown Me In, performing it 5 times in public spaces in Lebanon and producing five 30sec clown videos to be shared online.  

The outcome (performance and 5 videos) will tackle specific social problems chosen by the participants themselves. The performance and the 5 videos will shed light on some of these communities’ concerns in order to instigate the creation and production of future works that discuss these problems and find solutions to them.

This project is funded by “Selat: Links Through the Arts and Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Art.

Trash Treasures

Well summer is here and we have been celebrating by spending time at the seaside!

This thursday we all went to the beach for a relaxing time hanging out in the sun and swimming in the sea. But this was no ordinary beach! This was a beach in beautiful Lebanon! And this was no ordinary sea either, it was a sea full of beautiful of treasures!

We clowns couldn’t believe our luck when we emerged from the water COVERED in wonderful treasures! Fishing nets, empty packets of crisps, water bottles, plastic bags, diapers and the list goes on. We were so pleased that we decided to go straight from the beach to the Ministry of Environment in Beirut to thank the ministers personally for everything they have done!

 

In reality we are of course appalled by this environmental tragedy that seems to have no end in sight. We were at the ministry of environment taking part in a sit in organised by a group entitled ‘صحة ولادنا خط أحمر‘ which was started by four women who are fed up with a government not taking the health of their children and people seriously. They organised the sit in, with an open invitation for anyone to attend, and spoke about the very serious health and environmental concerns related to the irresponsible disposal of garbage.

 

As clowns, we took part in this protest in our own way, sitting down completely covered in trash on our return from the beach. The highlight of the event was taking a picture with an official member of the ministry who was very happy to greet us and didn’t seem to be bothered by the fact we were covered in trash.

3 questions to help you live a purposeful life

Paolo Gallo, Chief People & Culture Officer, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum Geneva has written this beautiful article to help us all to live a happy and purposeful life. Read it here.

He also did a great Ted x Lausanne talk entitled The Compass of Success where he talks a bit about the work we do:

 

Thank you Paolo for everything you do!

Please support us to continue to do our work by donating here.
We really appreciate any contribution big or small!!

 

#route2connect

In May, Sabine spent 3 weeks clowning along the Balkan Route for The Route to Connect, a Service Civil International project.  With Clay Mazing from Clowns Without Borders USA they spent 3 days training 16 volunteers in clowning before setting off together.

Throughout their journey, the group met beautiful people living in shocking conditions surrounded by fences, barbed wire and a complete lack of humanity and understanding from their host governments. Sabine reported what she saw along the way in a series of facebook posts. We have gathered them all here to be read as a journal, documenting the injustice of the refugee crisis in Europe but also the beautiful moments they managed to find amidst the sadness.

Please share these stories far and wide with friends and acquaintances!

Recycle Reuse Celebration PART II

More pictures from our Clown Attack in Aitanit!

So much fun running through the streets and playing with the schoolchildren!

It’s so important to teach children about the negative consequences of littering on our environment, our health and wellbeing.  Teaching them to practice responsible garbage disposal and recycling early on is the best way to engrain good habits!

HERE’S TO THE NEXT GENERATION OF RECYCLERS!

All these beautiful pictures are courtesy of Enke Hwang.

Recycle Reuse Celebration

We took part in a celebration with VNG at Aitanit celebrating the recycling and up-cycling achievement of the local community.

We performed with children from the local school, played with them and taught them about the importance of recycling and responsible garbage disposal.

 

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We also clowned around with residents on the streets and took part in the ceremony itself, performing for the municipality and attendees.

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What a wonderful achievement, we were so pleased to be part of the celebrations! This shows the power of working together as a community to keep our planet clean and green and what we can achieve when we come together. We are looking forward to seeing more of this around Lebanon in the very near future!!

Ideas Box part 2

Part 2 of Ideas Box began this week with Joelle starting the digital storytelling workshops with the kids.

They first got into pairs and filmed each other presenting themselves to the camera. They were then shows 2 short films which were followed by a group discussion.

The first session acted as an introduction to the world of film as a tool for storytelling. It was an opportunity for the participants to familiarise themselves with the equipment and for Joelle to introduce them to some visual material.

Ideas Box

We are very excited to be taking part in the IDEAS BOX project in collaboration with INTERSOS and the Geothe Institut which started in April and will be running through the summer.

The aim is to provide local youth in Choueifat with social therapy sessions designed to explore personal stories in a safe and judgment free environment. The teens are encouraged to work as a team and the sessions revolve around play, imagination and team work.

Chantal of of Clown Me In’s amazing clowns, has been running the theatre and storytelling workshop sin April, introducing the teenagers to different theatre techniques.

Her sessions begin with dynamic group exercises to strengthen bonds within the group. The focus is then shifted onto the individual to help participants to connect with themselves and find their inner strength and stories before partaking group storytelling and theatre exercises.

We are looking forward to beginning the digital storytelling part of the project with Joelle very soon!

CATCH – Creative Arts for Change

Through creativity we can change the situation for Syrian refugees in Lebanon

 

 


 

 

 

61 million people are right now fleeing from war, persecution and poverty. In vulnerable situations affected by violence and uncertainty, existing power and gender structures are growing stronger. In areas of Lebanon where people who have fled from Syria now live, the situation is getting more and more acute as physical, mental and sexual violence against girls and women are constantly increasing. This is why, Clowns Without Borders Sweden together with Beirut DC and Clown Me In are starting  the two-year project “Creative ArTs for CHange”.

Together, Clowns Without Borders Sweden and Clown Me In (Beirut DC) will train Syrian and Lebanese people with a background in art, culture and social work. They will be given new tools and methods to apply when leading group workshops for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. In these workshops, Syrian girls, women, boys and men, will be invited in separate groups to express themselves in a safe space, to create understanding for others and get psychosocial support through creative art forms. The project is being carried out with financial support from the Swedish development assistance via the Swedish Institute.

“We are living one of the worst and biggest crisis in the world, a project like this one would open a space for us to come together, to listen and to act. The need is big in Lebanon and around the world and we all need to act right now,” says Sabine Choucair, co-founder of Clown Me In at Beirut DC.

“Creative ArTs for CHange” starts in April 2017. The first of two 5-6 weeks’ group leadership trainings take place in August-September, and then the weekly exercises for refugees starts in October 2017.