In Barnaul, Russia, January 2012, cuddly toys protested the re-election of Putin and electoral fraud, taking the place of protesters who were arrested at previous demonstrations. The toys carried slogans like ‘I am for clean elections’ and ‘A thief should sit in jail, not in the Kremlin’. Authorities reckoned that the toys represented an ‘unsanctioned public event’ and their protest was banned. Police recorded slogans in their notebooks. The organiser stated that ‘We wanted to show the absurdity and farce of officials’ struggles with their own people’.
Instead of resisting, the clown collaborates; instead of obeying and hating,
the rebel clown mocks and slips away.
In my call-out on Facebook for workshop participants for Newcastle and Bristol I have had the biggest response to this photo with over 46 shares and 85 likes. It is from a fantastically inspiring book called 'Street Spirit' by Steve Crawshaw and shows protesters at the G-8 summit in 2007. For me this image reveals the power of subversion and gentle resistance the clown can bring. It also highlights a principle from Toolbox for a Revolution about putting targets into a decision dilemma. The negative reaction from the Riot Police to the clowns could mock their authority but to leave them there does the same.
I am a New Zealand performance artist, director, teacher and producer based in the UK. With over twenty years’ experience, my passion lies in physical theatre, circus and street arts. Participation has formed the centre for my work, whether by involving community & artists in the creative process or creating work that asks the audience to become involved. I enjoy the power of the arts to inspire and for people to be active participants in theatre, empowering them to realise their own creative potential.
My skills are many and varied and span arts and event management, production, design, teaching and performance. I am proficient in marketing, PR and business development, with skills in administration, web design and office management. My project management skills incorporate planning, budgeting, tour management & reporting. I am also a teacher, choreographer and director of dance, physical theatre and circus.
My portfolio of work has taken place across the globe, from New Zealand and Australia to the UK and Europe, from Central and South America to the islands of the Pacific.