About the project

“Circus as a Way of Life” – the regional project of the “Inbox” Art Association from Novi Sad shall take place in the wider Balkan region from August 2013 until June 2015. This two-year cultural and artistic project is partly of humanitarian character and with the support of the European Commission, it is simultaneously implemented in four cities, in Novi Sad, Gračanica, Tirana (Albania) and Varaždin (Croatia).

“Circus as a Way of Life” Project has brought together partner organisations “Inbox” and “Kreativni Pogon” (Creative Drive) from Novi Sad, “Geto” (Ghetto) from Gračanica, “Art kontakt” (Art Contact) from Tirana and Tourist Organisation of the City of Varaždin, all committed to implementing the idea of social work through performing art. In the course of the two-year programme, young people from these four cities will experience a new way of living through demanding workshops and public performances at the street festivals throughout the region. The workshops are run by masters of the contemporary circus skills and street theatre belonging to art troupes “Capilotracte” from France and “Helix” from Greece.

The humanitarian character of this project is reflected in the inclusion of the residents of the Shelter for children living and working in the streets of Novi Sad as well as the residents of the Children`s Village in Sremska Kamenica into the workshop programmes and public performances, thus giving them the opportunity to experience a different, nicer side of life and better relationship with the world.

By means of these workshops which completely integrate the skills of contemporary circus and street theatre as well as the physical performances, creative thinking and professional skills, this project aims to provide professional training for 80 young persons from the region. The top 20 workshop participants from all four cities will form an independent art troupe gathering at the summer camp in Novi Sad in August 2014, and then performing at several similar events such as the Street Musicians Festival in Serbia, Špancirfest in Croatia and IST fest in Greece. Members of the newly formed troupe will continue to work and perform together after the completion of the project.

“Circus as a Way of Life ” is one of two projects from Serbia which were supported by the European Commission in 2013, through “Culture 2007-2013” Programme for the standard 1.2.1, entitled “Cooperation Projects”. Out of a total of 476 submitted applications from all around Europe, this project was short-listed and entered the selection of 114 most successful projects. Moreover, the European Commission supported “Inbox” Art Association for the first time in 2012 at the similar competition – in particular, in organising the Street Musicians Festival, which helped this event reach its programme and organisation peak and at the same time acquire the official status of the European festival.

The young course participants, also residents of the Shelter, demonstrated their acquired knowledge during the Street Musicians Festival.

It was during the organisation activities for the previous, 12th Street Musicians Festival that the idea for commencing a new large-scale project “Circus as a Way of Life” emerged. In 2012, the Festival was of humanitarian character since all income of artists generated through donations of citizens (who were putting money in the upturned hats of artists during their performances) was collected and given to support residents of the Novi Sad Shelter for children living and working in the street. A number of various follow-up charity activities intended for poor children in Novi Sad included a workshop for the contemporary circus skills of the partner organisation “Creative Drive”. The young course participants, also residents of the Shelter, demonstrated their acquired knowledge in the field of clown skills, juggling and walking on stilts when they took part in the great parade in the streets of Novi Sad during the Street Musicians Festival. The newly launched “Circus as a Way of Life” has emphasised the attempt to make a huge step forward by engaging in such work with the youngest members of the population who lack the true perspective in life.

The “Circus as a Way of Life” is a project implemented under the auspices of the European Commission, Erste Foundation and the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia.