We Must Clown

Hello all

Here’s more about clowning, laughter and the streets from lebanon and beyond :slight_smile:

https://soundcloud.com/user-716915853/sabine-choucair-clown-me-in?in=user-716915853/sets/edgeryders-community


photo credits “clown me in”

summary

  • The challenge in life is how to make a better one- I start by accepting it and therefore I am making the team of “Clown me in”

  • I studied theatre and then specialized and discovered the world of “clowning” and how can one accept his life, see it in a simple way, laugh about it and through this process one can live a better life.

  • After coming back to Lebanon, I started doing so, and I made a team and we started going to the streets to ask for social justice, raise awareness with environmental issues, with small stuff that annoys us like people who don’t stop at traffic lights or people who litter in the streets, and we make “clown attacks” not an attack like ISIS but an attack from a group of clowns ( can be 10 ) we go there without announcing and interact with people in a light way.

  • We make another project , the “Caravan” which is more of a street theatre where we work with refugees, marginalized communities, we collect their real stories and make a play out of it and go with the caravan and perform for them.

  • We do perform in several places that needs laughter the most marginalized communities, camps, schools, …etc

  • I perform also abroad with “clowns without borders” we go to lesbos, to the balkan route and I collected different stories from the different communities I met, I transfer these stories to other people to create a small connection to make a bit better life.

  • I have been doing this for 11 years, started in Mexico, then london, USA, Morocco, brazil and then I came to Lebanon, it was not easy to start as people were a bit surprised, you know you are a clown just go to birthdays, but I insisted in doing so, and left everything else and focused to start the idea here in Lebanon, It was helpful that I found the team who belive in the idea, My family supported and helped alot, and the street in Lebanon is very supporting as people here like to laugh.

  • There are of course challenges but it doesn’t stop me from working, I will only stop when I can’t physically perform. Naturally the funding problem is there but we do crowd-funding and apply for different projects. ( as we can’t get money from our work we don’t perform in theatres or sell tickets ) I am the only one in the team working full-time as the others have other jobs. But anyways we are working and alwyas have projects.

  • We don’t have problems with permits, all the authorities are cooperative with us as we are just a bunch or clowns or artists who perform some funny plays

  • I think what can connect us toegther is to listen and share our stories. Since storytelling is the base of my work, this helps to open up for other people; this helps the storyteller receiver and connector ( us performing ) we can see that it ( stories with laughter ) helps; one can see the different atmosphere created at the time of the plays and even the people are always pleased and wants us to come back again.

  • I can see that the world is unfair, but I can see also a lot of kindhearted people doing a lot of great things. For example in the balkans one can see 500 people left in the woods, it takes one and a half hour to reach their place, because they don’t want to be identified there as they will be stuck this way in serbia, this poltical situation besides wars and destruction is very horrible, but there are also their neighbors in the town nearby who walk everyday for one and a half hours just to deliver food to these people. And I hope that these people run the world not the current politicians, I know it is an idealistic dream, but I can see a lot of love hidden within the hatred and destruction

  • For lebanon, I don’t have any solution. I am at a stage where I can’t see any big solution to our problems, what I do is to continue doing what I do, continue going to the streets performing, continue saying no, become myself a responsible citizen for now.


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  • المعضلة نبع الحياه هى كيف الواحد يقدر يحسن الحياه اللى عايش فيها- اول شي فى عملية انى اقبل الحياه اللى عايشه فيها عشان كده بعمل “كلون مى ان” clown me in وبعمل الفريق

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  • انا درست مسرح بعدين تخصصت واكتشفت عالم “الكلاونينج” ازاى الواحد بيقبل حاله ويشوف بطريقة بسيطة اكتر ويقبل بالاشياء اللي ما يحبها بحاله ويقبلها لما يضحك عليها ومن هون يحسن الشى اللى عايش به

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  • لما رجعت على لبنان عملت فريق وبلشت نزل على الشارع نطالب بالعداله الاجتماعيه ونوعى باشيا بيئية واشياء كتيره صغيره ماتعجبنا مثل العالم اللى ما بتوقف على إشارات السير ,مثل العالم اللى برموا زباله على الطريق. بننزل على الطريق ونعمل هجوم مهرجين “كلاون اتتاك” يعنى بدل الهجوم بتاع داعش وبنعمل كلون اتاك بننزل على الشارع والعالم ما بتعرف اننا نازلين. بنكون .مجموعه ( عشره ) ونتفاعل مع الناس بطريقة مهضومة.

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  • بنعمل مشروع تانى “الكارفان” هو مسرح شارع اكتر بننزل نشتغل مع لاجئين مع مجتمعات مهمشة او باوضاع صعبه نروح نسجل قصص حقيقية و بناخدها نحطها بمسرحية وناخد الكارافان ونروح نعرضها عليهم.

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  • انا بسافر بره وبشتغل مع مهرجين بلا حدود clowns without borders.بنروح على لزبوس وعلى طريق البلقان. وجمعت كتير حكايات من المجتمعات دى , باخد حكايات العالم وبنقلها لعالم تانيين وهذا الارتباك بيخلق شى يحسن الحياة

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  • بقالى 11 سنه بعمل هالشى , بلشت بالمكسيك وبلندن وبامريكا وبالمغرب وبالبرازيل وبعدين جيت ع لبنان وجيت( كان صعب بلش لان كل العالم حسستنى انى جايه من المكسيك و شو بتعملى - اعملى عيد ميلاد) بس ساعدنى اصرارى لانى تركت كل شى تانى بعمله بالحياة وركزت على هالفكرة. ساعدنى انى لقيت فريق مؤمن بالفكرة. وساعدنى اهلى كمان دعمونى كتير . وساعدنى الشارع بلبنان لان العالم بتحب تضحك بلبنان

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  • اكيد فى مشاكل بس ما بوقف غير لما جسمى يتعب. فى مشكلة مصارى دايما بس بنعمل تمويل جماعى crowd funding وبنقدم على مشاريع. ( لان ما بنقدر نطلع مصارى من شغلنا ما بنعرض بمسرح ومفيش تذاكر ) انا بشتغل بدوام كامل على المشروع بس باقى الفريق عندهم شغل تانى. ده مجرد عائق بس ما بيوقف

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  • بنطلب دعم لمشاريع مختلفة .بنعرف انه للاسف ما فينا نعمل ما فى حدا يكون بدوام كامل لان هدا الشى ما بيعيش بس كل الوقت فى مشاريع عم بنعملها

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  • ما عندنا مشكل بالتصاريح (المخابرا ت الجيش الدرك بيدعموا).بيخلونا نشتغل لاننا شو عم بنعمل احنا شويه مهرجين او فناني بنعمل مسرحيةونضحك.

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  • بنخيل دايما ان اللى بيوصلنا احنا كعالم من بعض أننا نسمع منيح مش معنى انى اسمع بس اشارك القصص. والحكاية هى أساس شغلى وده بساعد اننا نفتح راسنا وقلبنا لتقبل الشخص التانى خصوصا لما تسمع الحكاية بضحك. ده بيفيد الناس اللى بتجلى والناس اللى بتسمع والناس اللى بتوصل الحكاية

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  • الناس اللى بنقدملها العروض رغم انهم ممكن يكونوا فى وضع صعب وماعندهم امل بس بيصير جو كتير مختلف وبيقولولنا ارجعوا تانى

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  • بلاقى كل الوقت العالم كتير ظالم وبالقى كتير عالم ملاح بالحياة بيعملوا اشاي كتير حلوه بس احنا تحت نظام كتير اكبر منا. يعنى بروح على البلقان بلاقى 500 شخص مخبيين بقلب غابة تحتاج ساعه ونص لنوصلهم خايفين انهم يقولوا نهم فى البلد لحسن يخلوهم فيه صربيا مثلاو لانهم ناكرين وجودهم متروكين هيك وفى نفس الوقت فى حروب ودمار - بس كمان فى جيران فى قاعدين بها الضيعة بيمشوا كل يوم ساعه ونص ليعطوهم اكل. بحلم ان العالم دول هم اللى يكون ماسكين البلاد . ده حلم مثالى بس بعتقد فى كتير جب بالعالم بس ما ببين.

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  • بلبنا حاليا ما عندى حل - بس بضل انزل على الشارع بضل اقول لا. بكون انا شخصيا مواطنه مسئولة يس انا واصله لمرحله ما بعرف شو بدو ينعمل بلبنان

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5 Likes

Sabine <3 It is super nice meeting you again in this platform after meeting in Madrid! I do believe you are doing great job as I have been following what you are doing on Facebook! and to be honest, I can’t wait to have you one day in the south of Tunisia I am sure people would be amazed by what you are doing! maybe when the space I am working on is launched we can have the Cown Me In in it :smiley:

2 Likes

yeyyyyy happy you’re here too. yalla let’s start thinking about it

Hi @Sabouny and @Yosser , welcome to our little corner of the world :slight_smile:

By coincidence I’ve come across two articles. They both involve use of clowning as a strategy, but are really different:

"The Insane Clown Posse’s Juggalo March on Washington, explained"

"Clowns Kicked KKKs asses"

There are several members in the broader community working at the intersections of art and activism/ attempts to deal with consequences of issues on communities. Several of them are coming to the community gathering in Brussels on October 19-21, and possibly to the OpenVillage MENA space after if I can convince them :))

A good way to connect is to read their stories and leave comments saying hello:

@matteo_uguzzoni has done a lot of work designing games for urban public spaces with another community member Augusto…He’s suggested running part of the program for the festival as an urban game. Plus I think he’s into maybe doing something in MENA at some point. Maybe good to have a chat?

@kate_g is somehow at a similar place…have a look at this conversation (especially the comments)

I get the feeling that @amiridina knows some interesting things going on in Egypt, Ping @hazem maybe you know of more people?

1 Like

Thanks for the post and the work you are doing! Was actually just reading about this today: http://www.patchadams.org. They are trying to open up a free hospital in an intentional community, in addition they have “clown trips” abroad. The doc is famous because of a movie about him (Patch Adams), but his work may seem more in line with our projects than the movie describes! Keep up the great work and thank you for sharing! Laughter truly is the best medicine.

Hey Ndia Thanks a lot for the links. I have seen them :slight_smile: clowns are awesome

and @matteo_uguzzoni we should definitely try to meet face to face and take this conv further. play is the basis of everything I think and we can do wonders while playing

1 Like

yes @woodbinehealth Patch Adams organizes trips to Russia every year, I htink they mostly go visit hospitals. he also organizes visits to refugee camps and more.
If interested you should also check the Clowns Without Borders website clownswithoutborders.org and clownmein.com we do focus more on humanitarian part but clowns always work together so we cross paths with Patch as well

Just adding to the welcome - love the positive spirit!

I sadly don’t know any crazy clowns :smiley: but a clown attack could be needed in Egypt.
the closest thing I could think of is this opera el balcon, where they brought Opera to the streets of El-Mansoura.

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This is very nice. I know the people of Outa 7amra, Aly Sobhi & co.
A friend of mine co - founded Mahtat for contemporary art they host artists from the world to perform in the most unusual place in Egypt.
I love how your parents stood backed you up.
In Brazil, I watched Donka A Letter to Checov and had diner with the artists. The lead was a Brazilian of Lebanese origins. Check Compagnia Finzi Pasca, you might get inspired if you decide to create a troupe and perform in theaters http://finzipasca.com/fr/creations/donka/
<3 But what you already do even though it might not be paying much is very human (in the good meaning of the word:) ) imaging all the people in distress you draw a smile on their faces and those who are released to know that their stories will be heard.

2 Likes

http://www.unesco.org/new/en/social-and-human-sciences/events/prizes-and-celebrations/unesco-prizes/sharjah-prize/
UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture
Deadline for submissions of candidatures is 31 August 2017 at midnight.

Al Mawered El Thakafy


was based in Egypt and headed by Basma El Husseini. A very active organization. Among their most successful and dear to my heart is El Fan Midan. People showed their artistic talents at Tahrir Sq. so I space was created for artist and people to show their talents and express themselves in Abdeen space. A monthly festival that was banned a couple years later. I can see that they are based in Lebanon now.

Mahtat


was one of the cultural initiatives that received a fund from El Mawred El Thakafy محطات للفن المعاصر Mahatat for contemporary art. The founder is a friend Heba El Sheikh
http://www.mahatatcollective.com

Outa Hamra



They also work with refugees who are have difficulties to integrate in communities across Egypt. And go on tours in the very rural and remote communities. They were on a tour in Tunisia last spring.
I know Aly and Jacob.

we do have a trpupe in Lebanon called clownmein
check clownmein.com
also Ghouta Hamra are great :slight_smile: @hazem should definitely get in touch with them. if you want I can send you the contact of one of their members. let me know
and @amiridina thank you for the Unesco link, I am not sure we can nominate ourselves though !!! :slight_smile:

1 Like

Paging @duey here… you two should talk :slight_smile:

@Sabouny, a while back Duey wrote about her own experience being part of a Community Circus in Ireland.