For more information click here.
For more information click here.
We have just finished our 2017 Clown Tour of Lebanon and whilst we clowns recover from the 10 days of back to back performances we would like to take a minute to thank everybody who supported us through our generosity campaign and fundraisers and helped make this tour a reality. We went up and down the country, travelling hundreds of kilometres per day to perform in refugee camps, schools and public spaces spreading laughter and and love where it is most needed.
This tour was very different to our usual tour, along with our regular Clown Me In members (who you can find out more about here) we were joined by new clowns from We Must Clown, the project we launched this summer in collaboration with the Qattan foundation (click here to find out more) and also by Leah and Hannah from Clowns Without Borders USA. The entire show was devised in one week through intensive rehearsal sessions with all the clowns on board.
We included our favourite scenes from our old show but added new scenes tackling issues such as trash, honking, plastic surgery and hygiene.
We travelled up and down the country in and around Akkar, the Bekaa, Tripoli, Beirut, Sour, Saida and managed to perform for over 4600 children, teenagers and adults. The response we got was so positive and we really had to tear ourselves away from the kids at the end of each show, neither of us wanted to part ways!
For us the most important part of the tour is reaching kids who don’t usually have access to this kind of entertainment or activities. This is why before and after each show we spent as much time as we could walking around the camps and playing, dancing, clowning around and laughing with the kids and adults alike.
This tour was also different to our usual tours as we had brand new clowns with us every step of the way, and a slightly different team every day. We took the risk of having a less prepared and polished show in order to include new members of Clown Me In and what a difference that made! We were able to travel to and perform for their communities which created a bond between us, the performers, and the audience that you could never ordinarily achieve. For the audience, seeing someone they know and love arriving with the clown troupe makes the show extra special and meaningful; for the performer, bringing all these clowns to their community is a moment of pride and creates a bigger commitment to the show. And for the tour as a whole? It enables a series of really special moments unique to those specific shows and gives everyone that extra little boost when energy is running low.
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.
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.
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!!