Presentation

Circostrada’s latest project, CS body/ies, is built around the concept of the body and will span from September 2021 to August 2024. This curative approach will be declined each year into thematic focuses - the living body/ies, the diverse body/ies, and the common body/ies - to provide multifaceted views and perspectives on key issues such as ecology, sustainability, fairness, diversity, inclusion, gender-balance, accessibility, solidarity, resilience, and resistance, while at the same time meeting the needs of its members and those of the contemporary circus and outdoor arts sectors.

A CURATED RED THREAD 

CS body/ies follows in the footsteps of the missions and values carried out until now by Circostrada, while striving to respond to new challenges and gaps that contemporary circus and outdoor arts workers must reflect and act on together. The idea of a curated red thread - spanning over three years and declined each year under a different thematic focus - was conceived jointly by the coordination team and the steering committee of the network, and brought then to the members of Circostrada, with the firm conviction that this innovative approach would successfully meet members’ needs and address current issues faced by both sectors. Exploring a curated red thread will also be crucial for two additional reasons: it will give a framework to Circostrada members and participants joining network activities to navigate these issues and help them engage with them, and it will create a stronger storytelling to increase impacts and better disseminate outputs.

Brooke DiDonato

 

THE BODY/IES CONCEPT

This new project, which will be guided by a specific red thread, will give room and visibility to key contemporary issues, raise awareness among contemporary circus and outdoor arts workers, and influence changing attitudes in both sectors.

The red thread - the body/ies - was essentially chosen for two reasons: it is deeply rooted into both contemporary circus and outdoor arts histories, imaginaries, aesthetics, actions, and it is well adapted for workers from these sectors to bring specific views onto the key issues of sustainability, diversity, and solidarity.

This curated concept will offer manifold possibilities, ranging from more theoretical perspectives to more empirical ones, and through discussions, training opportunities, peer-to-peer exchanges, small or large-scale seminars, action-research laboratories, digital resources, and so on.

This broad range of perspectives will form a solid continuum, while holding powerful political and symbolic values: both sectors will not only contribute to it individually as contemporary circus and as outdoor arts, but also together in regard to the performing arts as a whole.

Moreover, the different countries and regional contexts in which the network will be active will bring specific approaches to the red thread as well. This concept and its yearly thematic focuses will feed and shake current debates, challenge members and participants in their reflections and habits, and bring innovation and solid consistency throughout all Circostrada’s activities.

Please find below the 3 yearly thematic focuses for 2021-2024: 

2021-2022 - The "living" body/ies

Consequently, during the first year of the project, the focus will be on the “living body/ies”, to explore, promote and adopt more environmentally sustainable frameworks and practices. All activities taking place between September 2021 and August 2022, will be dedicated to the questions of ecology, eco-responsibility, eco-sustainability, carbon-footprint, and possibilities to reimagine a new relationship with the living. This thematic focus will strive to resume the gap between individual awareness and organisational change, to inject a holistic approach in these matters (taking into consideration nuances and the intersectionality of challenges at the global level) and to provide support for a transition to alternative models.

2022-2023 - The "diverse" body/ies

Similarly, during the second year of the project, the focus will be on the “diverse body/ies”, to explore, promote and adopt fairer, more inclusive, and diverse frameworks and practices. Concretely, it means that all activities taking place between September 2022 and August 2023, will be dedicated to the topics of fairness, equity, equality, inclusivity, diversity, and accessibility. This thematic focus will help to create a framework adapted to the contemporary circus and outdoor arts sectors, to build a common language to discuss these topics in a constructive way, and to develop a shared space to explore ideas and develop inspiring actions.

2023-2024 - The common body/ies

Finally, during the third year of the project, the focus will be on the “common body/ies”, to explore, promote and adopt more solidary, resilient and resistant frameworks and practices. Concretely, it means that all activities taking place between September 2023 and August 2024, will be dedicated to the topics of swarm intelligence, collective relations and actions, communities engagement, working bodies, well-being and mental health. This thematic topic will endeavor to provide further ground to the reflection on these topics and to stimulate common actions that will have a long-term impact for the lives and careers of contemporary circus and outdoor arts workers. 

Please find below the save the dates of the two first years of the project: