The Tenth Performing the World (PTW)

Sabine Shoucair Perofrm The Work New York Beirut Lebanon Clown 3Sabine Shoucair Perofrm The Work New York Beirut Lebanon Clown 2

Sabine recently participated in the tenth Performing the World (PTW) conference that was held in New York City from the 21st till the 23rd of September, 2018.

Sabine gave a clowning workshop to more than 35 therapists and theatre practitioners. They talked and experimented on how to use different forms of art and theatre as therapeutic tools and forms of activism.

Performing the World is a platform that has a developmental attitude towards life by exploring and celebrating performance as a catalyst for human and community development and culture chance. The conference addresses the need to develop performance activism as an essential tool in developing the world: “We have to perform the world again because – and we’re all involved in this – this one stinks”, said co-founder Newman in 2008.

Sabine met some very inspiring people who led incredible initiatives all around the world, of which was Patch Adams, the comedian, activist, clown and author.

Sabine Shoucair Perofrm The Work New York Beirut Lebanon Clown 1Sabine Shoucair Perofrm The Work New York Beirut Lebanon Clown Happy MerchSabine Shoucair Perofrm The Work New York Beirut Lebanon Clown MerchSabine Shoucair Perofrm The Work New York Beirut Lebanon Clown Patch Adams Son

 

“Clown Me In” in Boulder Circus Center

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On Wednesday August 29th, Sabine Choucair was part of an evening of open sharing and discussion about the #Clown and its political, social and healing power along with Giovanni Fusetti.

Sabine Choucair, from Clown Me In – Lebanon, showcased the work she and her team are doing with refugees and disadvantaged communities in the Middle East and Europe. And opened a discussion about how artists can make a positive difference through our work. She is the proud co-founder of the IIVVSS ( International Institute of Very Very Serious Studies) that will be launched in Lebanon in the coming few months.

Wednesday, August 29th, at 7.30pm
Boulder Circus Center
4747 26th St, Boulder, CO 80301

These are some of the themes that we will be exploring.

The Hero and the Fool: how tragedy and comedy dance together.
What is the politics of the Fool?
Laughter is a human right. And so is Play, Joy and Humour.
What is the role of Clowns in areas of humanitarian crisis?
What is the difference between performing as clowns and touring to different communities vs using it as tool to find stories and spend more time with people?
Storytelling, trauma and the resilience of the heart.
How we as a community can take our work further?

Donations are very welcome and will fund the work of Clown Me In-Lebanon.

Clown Protest

As clowns we tend not to be too dramatic about things, so when we cry or make a fuss you KNOW it’s for a good reason. Back in February we joined a protest (I know, I know, February was a long time ago – but we’ve been in mourning!) to express our extreme distress at the government’s solution to our ongoing trash crisis: to build an incinerator for Beirut! Apparently it’s not enough that our sea is drowning in trash, that our landscape is littered with plastic, that our food has become poisonous and that the air is filled with the exhausts of a million cars. Apparently now we must inhale the fumes of all the trash piled up and burning in our very own incinerator!

So we joined the demonstration, protesting in the only way we know to be effective: with a good dose of humour. We arrived with a goal and determination to break the Guinness World Record for the longest noose of trash. On our shoulders we bore an incinerator and around our neck was tied a noose. We hugged each other and sobbed loudly –

We were received with surprise and encouragement from the many people gathered on the streets of Beirut that day. A couple even asked us to include their infant in our procession which we did gladly, giving him a bright red clown nose and carrying him whilst we set up our Guinness World Record breaking noose of trash. The crowd was keen to take part, we placed the noose around one of our necks and with the help of enthusiastic (and sometimes weary) volunteers we held it up with a broomstick and started piling on the trash.

Our attendance at the demonstration is part of our long term clown commitment to living in a cleaner and healthier environment. You may remember us from the last protest we attended where we were interviewed by the press:

After everyone had packed up and gone home, we received a message from one of the organiser’s of the event who thanked us for our participation and intervention because we had transformed the protest from a dramatic and heavy on the heart event into something a little more enjoyable. It is always important to stand up for our rights. See you very soon on the streets, where we will be standing up for social justice with a little side of clown humour!

Clown Tour 2017!

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.

Click here to find out more about We Must Clown.
Click here to find out more about our work with Clowns Without Borders.

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.

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.

 

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!!