End of Spring and beginning of Summer are usually very dynamic months as we end the circus season and get prepared for the Summer period. This year we improvised in online format and redesigned our activities. Our core goals were:
to support youngsters who survive social isolation
to provide direct help to those families of our youngsters whose financial stability had been shaken in the coronacrisis
to keep our relations with youngsters: we want them to know that they social distancing should not bring abandonment and despair; we wanted to maintain friendly and supportive environment for them
to promote further development of physical abilities, circus skills and creative potential of the youngsters
We managed to succeed! All these months we have been receiving empowering feedback from families. Parents told us that virtual trainings at Upsala-Circus was much more suitable and friendly for the teenagers then online school classes. We encouraged the youngsters not only keep but develop their abilities and skills as well (in juggling, stretching, acrobatics). We managed to produce creative results in two major circus groups: teenagers with Down syndrome and other mental and physical disabilities prepared their home circus video, and youngsters with at-risk social status prepared virtual dance performance.
Online peacemaking residence Rebels for Peace.Isolation
In July we organized our annual art residence Rebels for Peace in online format. During three weeks, youngsters from Russia and Germany (including teenagers from Afghani and Syrian refugee families) used creative methods of contemporary circus, sound design, dance and visual art to reflect on the phenomenon of social isolation — not only in times of global pandemic, but also in various unfavorable social circumstances (like isolation in prison or in closed social institutions). A short video from one of the art lab is available via the link.
We finished the residence with online streaming of virtual content created in art labs — in St. Petersburg and Berlin simultaneously.
Circus by the windows
In the times of overall lockdown Upsala-Circus professional troupe (young men and women who graduated from Upsala-Circus social programs) performed by the windows of the closed social institutions, hospitals and residential houses where children with disabilities, elderly people and cancer patients live. A 1.5-minute video from one of the performances is full of light and hope.
By Olesya Radilova - Head of Fundraising Department
You will be excited to hear a success story of the project you supported.
For the second time the peace-making art residence Rebels for Peace gathered 45 teenagers from Russia, Germany, Syria and Afghanistan in city of Zeitz, Germany. The program of the residence began on 7 July by showing DoMiNo performances in Leipzig and Zeitz. DoMiNo is an interdisciplinary performance based on real stories of participants of the first art residence in 2018. Someone was forced to flee with his family from his home in Syria, and someone was in the shelter as a result of the actions of the guardianship authorities.
330 spectators were lucky to see the performance. One of the spectators of the performance in Leipzig shared his impressions:
"I did not expect such a dramatic line, I thought that there would be just circus performances. The theme of the experience of war or even violence is felt throughout the performance. You can feel what courage the guys show when they perform on stage."
The residence lasted from 6 to 29 of July. The program included workshops in different disciplines: circus, media, sound design, documentary theater and drums. Workshops were open for all Zeitz citizens. The result of these workshops became city choir and a flock of birds puppets.
Later, flying art objects went to the promenade around the city during the art festival, which was arranged by the residence team. The festival brought together about 300 participants and spectators. Many surprises, rhythms and creative bustle appeared at the streets of the city.
Every day of the residence served as a confirmation that there are many reasons to be together in life.
Thank you for your support and for participation and contribution in the world peace community building!
Please see a video of thanks from all children who took part in the residence!
Rebels for Peace art-residence has started in Germany last week! We've shown DoMiNo performance in Leipzig and Zeitz. And even get up an improvized circus performance near Berlin Schönefeld Airport while waiting for all the participants to meet each other.
We're looking forward to all site-specific workshops and art-interventions to begin in Zeitz. This year our creative research will focus on Communication. How do we communicate with others? How do we satisfy our need for peer-to-peer interactions? And if war is a type of communication - what might we suggest instead of fighting and hostility?
In two weeks we'll welcome Zeitz citizens at Rebels for Peace festival to introduce an unconventional view on the town.
We're eager to share our excitement with these short videos.