BALKAN Tour 2019
Clown Me In and Clowns Without Borders – USA returns to the Balkan Route, performing for migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Romania. Some of the performances are planned for people with official refugee status, residing in camps. Other performances are for migrants and Roma people who live in temporary camps.
This is the third tour along the Balkan route (previous tours in 2017 and 2018). In past years, audience members report remembering the clowns from 2015 and 2016 tours in Lesvos. The Balkan Tour epitomizes the complexity of modern displacement. Many of the migrants on the Balkan route fled Syria in 2014 or 2015. They continue to be displaced and migratory, many of them lacking the rights and privileges afforded by an official nationality.
Tour duration: February 28, 2019 to March 18, 2019
Read more about the tour on CWB website
Clown Me In along with Clowns Without Borders sent a group of clowns to tour a show in Myanmar. The project is in collaboration with the Mine Advisory Group (MAG), which works on removing mines and runs programs focused on risk education.
CMI and CWB have previously done shows with MAG in Lebanon in 2014, with performances in 25 villages. In 2018, the team performed for risk education in schools near towns at risk of landmine detonation, as well as for people in Displaced Person Camps. We reached around 9000 persons in 12 shows in different areas around the country.
The project ran between the 1st and 15th of December.
Read about the project updates and insights here
As part of their initiative, MAG is providing risk education to teach people about the ways landmines can be recognized, avoided, and reported. The project will aim to increase knowledge and awareness around the topic/issue in children and people who are residing in IDP camps and affected communities.
The internal conflict in Myanmar has been labeled by some as the longest running civil war in the world. The conflict has led to a heavy contamination of landmines in several of the areas, such as Kayin, Shan, and Bago, among others. MAG has been working in these areas since 2013.
The Team: CWB and CMI have worked on over 10 tours together, including a collaboration with MAG in Lebanon in 2014. The performing team includes Leah Abel, Andres Aguilar, and Naomi Shafer. Leah has performed with CWB since 2009, most recently in collaboration with CMI in Lebanon. She is based in Boston, where she runs Circus Up. Andres has been clowning professionally since 1996, when he joined Ringling Bros’ Greatest Show on Earth. He was has toured with CWB in Kenya and Ecuador.
Funding: This project is supported by the Mine Advisory Group in partnership with Clown Me In and Clowns Without Borders.
In spring 2017 Sabine spent 3 weeks in the Balkans with Clay Mazing, of CWB USA, for the project Route2Connect. They trained a group of 16 volunteers in clowning and together performed for refugees all along the Balkan route. Read about her trip in our blog here.
This year, Sabine is going back to bring more joy, laughter and love to refugees stranded on the Balkan route. This year she will be joined by Bekah Smith and Justin Therrien.
Check back for update on how the trip is going and as ever, keep an eye on Sabine’s and Clown Me In’s facebook pages.
In autumn ’17, Clown Me In teamed up with CWB USA in Lebanon to devise a show with a group of new clowns from our project We Must Clown and tour it around the country. The tour was generously funded by members of the public through our Generosity Campaign. Click here to find out more!
We are so excited to be touring with Clowns Without Borders in Lebanon again this autumn! We will be performing in as many locations as possible and giving workshops in refugee communities around the country. This tour has been generously funded by Generosity Campaign. If you haven’t had a chance to donate please visit our campaign page here and help to send us where love is needed!
In 2016, we teamed up with Clowns Without Borders and several other organisation for performances around Lebanon. We performed in the Bekaa, Northern Lebanon and camps around the country. Read our blog post about our collaboration here or visit Clowns Without Borders’ website here and here for more information!
We have teamed up twice with Clowns Without Borders in Lesvos, once in 2015 and then again in 2016. Both times we performed for thousands of stranded Syrian refugees over the course of several weeks. You can read more about it in our blog here. Or for more information take a look on Clowns Without Borders’ website here and here.