We Must Clown, one of our recurrent projects, usually aims to bring together non-professional clowns from disadvantaged communities and from different nationalities to get them to work together and bridge gaps and strengthening social cohesion.
Each year we pick 10 to 12 young non professional clowns and give them intensive training in clowning.
After the training, the team devises a clown show and, along with CMI clowns, tours with it in different communities that lack art and cultural activities. The project is a form of self expression and aims to strengthen social cohesion between refugees and locals.
But this year, and after the Beirut explosion on August 4, we felt that Lebanese people from all denominations, reflected specifically by the amount of applications received (60 out of 75), have the need to express and laugh. This is why most of the participants of this year’s edition of We Must Clown are Lebanese.
We are giving 20 training for 10 non-professional performers from different backgrounds, with a good mix of online and in-person meetings, conducted by Sabine Choucair and assisted by Samer Sarkis, and always keeping in mind the safety precautions during this pandemic. The participants will explosrinig their own personal clowns and will be prepared, through extensive scene building execises and repetitions and rehearsals to be confident and ready for the upcoming tour with the original Clown Me In members.
We Must Clown 2020 is funded by the French Cultural Institute.
As with every edition of We Must Clown, we create a set of clown videos to share online that reflect what the participants think and worry about in Lebanon. This year, and with support from the British Council, 18 artists have worked on videos under the supervision and direction of Jon Davidson, Robyn Hambrook and Sabine Choucair.
The outcome was 6 videos, each dealing with a specific problem that Lebanon is facing like: the inflation of the Lebanese Lira, the way Lebanese adapt to the different situations however complex they get, and finding solutions instead of revolting.