As a website primarily devoted to circus performance, I have had little to say about the wider field of Social Circus, where skills are used to benefit communities and the disadvantaged – to help people learn, grow and develop as individuals. This is an ever widening area in which circus trained artists work and is empowering people from all walks of life around the globe.
This week The Effective Circus Project has published Studying Social Circus: Openings and Perspectives, a series of articles and research following their seminar on worldwide Social Circus, held at Tampere University last December.
Here you can see Ali Williams, Chairperson of the Circus Development Agency UK and Creative Director of NoFit State Circus, giving a talk in Cardiff earlier this month, about her experiences with Circus Kathmandu working with young survivors of human trafficking in Nepal.
This week sees the 6th session from Educircation, whose partners are working to improve the quality of circus teaching across Europe. The 5 days will focus on the importance of physical contact, with a particular emphasis on the development of children through cirkomotoriek technique. Previous sessions have revolved around crossing cultural and linguistic barriers, working with patients with mental health issues or disabilities, and disadvantaged youths.
There is a bountiful history of the arts being used for social change, and the fact that circus skill-sets are also revealing the benefits they can provide to society is a positive sign for a healthy future development of the art.