WHO ARE WE?
We are an international collective of artists that generates conferences, productions and projects that develop the language of the clown, with the ultimate aim of encouraging the development of this art form for a community of artists, students and new audiences.
Currently the clown is developing as an important social and artistic movement at a global level. We believe in the power of the clown to heal, unite and transform our society. The Clownencuentro joins this growing movement, through its six main objectives:
We want to increase the knowledge of techniques and theories related to clown by providing opportunities--for example workshops, courses, masterclasses--to train with experts in the field.
We want to promote exchange of techniques, styles and social uses of the clown, generating creative and interactive spaces, for example, lectures, conferences, and virtual spaces, dedicated to rigorous debate and open discussion.
We want to enrich the theoretical understanding of forms, functions and effects of clown by supporting projects and academic forums that seek to address questions through investigative processes and methodologies.
We want to support the development of new networks based on a common interest in the art of clown, facilitating local and global partnerships through meetings and events that give individuals and groups opportunities to establish new relationships.
5. Artistic Development
We want to contribute to the improvement of the level and quality of the art of clown performance by creating our own productions and creative collaborations that allow us to develop new forms, involve our artistic networks and generate new audiences.
Currently the core team of Clownencuentro consist of:
Barnaby King (UK): Artistic Director
Ilana Levy (Colombia): Director of Communications and Marketing
Fiorella Kollmann (Peru): Creative Producer
Artist, teacher, scholar and clown. His interest and passion is the relevance and impact of the art of clown in everyday society, its relationship to power and its use as a form of resistance. He started my career in theater in 1996 in Leeds and then worked in educational theater, children's theatre and community theatre for 10 years. In 2009 he founded the Clownencuentro as part of academic research on the clown in Colombia, and thanks to the contributions of thousands of people has grown and continues to grow more than he could have imagined.
Ilana is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Hispanic Literature and Linguistics. She has trained with clown teachers including Moshe Cohen, (USA), Barnaby King (ENG), Alex Navarro (Esp), among others. She has worked with Dr. Patch Adams in Clown Community projects in Peru and the USA. Convinced of the importance of the development of the clown in Colombia, Ilana joined the Clownencuentro team in 2010, with responsibility for communications and social projects. She has a special interest in the humanitarian clown and in 2012 founded the organization CaliClown. (www.caliclown.com). She is the General Director and manager of the International Healthcare Clown Conference in Cali, Colombia.
Fiorella is a Peruvian artist dedicated to the performing arts. As a director and actress she has created numerous shows, theatrical and social projects related especially to the clown in Peru and Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Germany, USA, among others. As a teacher she has trained actors and others interested in clown for over 12 years, with the aim of improving the quality of clowning in her country. She has also developed clown research platforms. As well as being Creative Producer of the Clownencuentro, Fiorella is a consultant and certified trainer for the Galli Method, allowing her to provide this resource for all those who want to learn how to communicate better with their environment and know themselves using the arts.
HISTORY OF THE CLOWNENCUENTRO
At its inception in 2009 the Clownencuentro was conceived as a product of collaboration between artists and producers in response to the need to develop and improve the art of clown in Colombia. With the passing of the years, many others have joined this group to provide workshops, conferences, shows and public interventions and also to produce meetings, festivals, and projects in different parts of the world. Our remit has thus expanded to an international scale.
The initial impulse to hold an ‘encuentro’ (meeting) in 2009 was made by Barnaby King (England), Inti Bachman (Colombia), Bruce McPhail (USA) and Ana Milena Velasquez (Colombia). In 2010 the meeting was supported by Lucho Guzmán (Col), Jaime Fajardo (Col) and Camilo Rodriguez (Col), when Fiorella Kollmann (Peru) and Ilana Levy (Colombia) also joined the team. Since then we have had the support of many artists and producers to build the international Clownencuentro: Katherine Mayorga who was the producer of the ‘encuentro’ for 4 years, Dudu Farine, Carolina Méndez, Zoraida Varela, Alejandro Mendoza, Paloma Santaella, Edgar Cardenas, Charlie Cárdenas, Beto Urrea, Francisco Fajardo, among others.
During its life the Clownencuentro has also taken advantage of alliances and major sponsors, including the Ministry of Culture of Colombia, Iberescena, the Seine foundation, Clowns Without Borders USA, The Casa del Teatro Nacional de Colombia Varasanta Theater, Swiss and Spanish Embassies in Colombia, Mimame Festival, El Bosque University (Bogotá), University of Antioquia (Medellín) and Northwestern University (Chicago).
THE MAIN EVENT: OUR ANNUAL ‘ENCUENTRO’
The "Clownencuentro" is a unique event in America that offers workshops, performances, lectures, spaces for exchange and public interventions. The ‘encuentro’ has been building year on year in its form and content. In its 6 versions has counted on the participation of more than 70 artists and teachers, has offered 45 training workshops, more than 45 shows, 32 lectures and public interventions, covering a total audience in their activities of more than 4000 people.
OTHER CLOWNENCUENTRO PROJECTS
The projects of the Clownencuentro include everything apart from our annual ‘encuentro’. This includes one-off workshops, performances, interventions, book launches, masterclasses and other events that help to maintain our presence and activity throughout the year. While these are focused primarily in Bogotá, some of these events have also happened in Cali, Lima (Peru) and in the UK.
The first Clownencuentro was held in Bogotá in 2009 with 90 participants, the majority Colombians. During 5 days the artists shared workshops, performances and presentations. From the beginning our priority has always been to create a meaningful experience of exchange and reflection, in which artists can learn from one another. Although the Clownencuentro has grown enormously, it has maintained this essence at its heart.
The second ‘encuentro’ was held in the city of Medellín with a participation of 350 people. The theme of ‘The Clown Humanitarian’ was developed through workshops, performances, presentations and public interventions. Among the international guests were teachers such as Wendy Ramos, founder and Director of the Bolaroja Association (Peru) and Moshe Cohen, founder of Clowns Without Borders (USA), Joan Barrington, director of Therapeutic Clown (Canada) and a company of theater Three Crazy Cats (Argentina). The event was enriched by the coexistence of clowns from various countries such as Cuba, Venezuela, Peru, Canada, and Colombians of Bucaramanga, Bogota, Cali and Medellin.
The third Clownencuentro returned to the city of Bogotá with the theme of ‘Clown and Transformation,’ and was carried out in alliance with the National Theatre of Colombia, Varasanta Theater and El Bosque university. Among the activities were international workshops with world-class teachers: Alex Navarro, (Spain), Hillary Chaplain (USA), Fernando Cordova (Mexico) and Barnaby King (England); this year we piloted a new concept, the ‘fabrica’, a kind of open space workshop that culminated in public interventions in hospitals, vulnerable communities and parks. We were joined by 850 participants from Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador and Uruguay among others.
The fourth Clownencuentro Clownencuentro took the theme of ‘The Latin American Clown.’ We thus invited Latin American artists clowns keys of the Continent, notably the founders of the Argentinean group El Clu de Claun, Gabriel Chame and Cristina Martí; the Brazilian group Lume Theater built by Ricardo Puccetti and Naomi Silman; Andres Aguilar, director of Terapia de la Risa of Mexico; and David Lichtenstein of Clowns Without Borders (USA). Through alliances with these groups across North and South America the Clownencuentro has been able to consolidate and sustain a stable base for the future of the art of the clown in Colombia.
In 2013 we continued the constant search for innovation and learning as programmers of a festival and as artists. In this version we won a grant from the Ministry of Culture of Colombia. We offered 4 international workshops that had a total of 70 attendees, 4 ‘fabricas’ with a total of 59 attendees. We presented 7 shows, with a total capacity of 818 people. We presented 3 panel discussions with a total of more than 100 attendees and 3 sessions of the 3D Clown with a total of 145 attendees. The biggest achievement this year was the positioning of the Clownencuentro as an internationally recognized event not only by the artists and invited teachers, but also by the participants who attended from different countries in Latin America and the world.
Under the direction of Beto Urrea and the production of Katherine Mayorga and Francisco Fajardo, the 6th meeting took place in the city of Bogotá. We had 6 international workshops, 6 shows and a variety, 1 clowncharet and 3 sessions of 3D Clown, with the participation of Hernán Gené (Argentina), Frank Wurzinger (Germany), Antón Coucheiro (Spain), Teatro Vagamundo (Brazil), Michael O'neill (USA), Mitómonos (Colombia), among others. We had more than 70 participants and a total attendance of more than 1000 people.
RESEARCH ON THE SOCIAL ROLE OF THE CLOWN IN COLOMBIA
From 2008, as part of his PHD in the Department of Performance Studies at Northwestern University, Barnaby King has undertaken a number of activities that seek to deepen our understanding of significant social of the clown. In 2010 and 2011 he carried out ethnographic fieldwork with street clowns in areas such as Venice and San Victorino in Bogotá (photos). In 2012 and 2013 worked with Edgar and Carlos Cardenas in an exchange project with traditional circus clowns supported by the Ministry of Culture: Memories and routines of the Colombian Clown. In 2013 he completed his PHD and in 2016 published his book based on the same topic: Clowning as Social Performance in Colombia: Ridicule and Resistance.
ALLIANCE WITH CALICLOWN
CaliClown is a social clown organization founded in 2012 by our Director of Communications and Marketing, Ilana Levy, who started this project with Connie Gallo, as a way to bring hospital clowns to their hometown, Cali, in southwest Colombia. Clownencuentro and CaliClown have worked together to bring professional training to Cali, to help develop hospital and social clown in this city. Clownencuentro has been a partner organization in the International Healthcare Clown Conference organized by CaliClown it its 3 versions in 2012, 2014 and 2017.
PROJECTS WITH CWB (CLOWNS WITHOUT BORDERS)
Since 2010 the Clownencuentro has taken advantage of a highly productive partnership with the organization Clowns Without Borders USA, including several projects for the creation and implementation of performances with vulnerable communities in Bogotá and Cali, social interventions, workshops and collaborations with other groups of clown. In each international meeting CWB has sent an international artist to the event (20010-Moshe Cohen; 2011-Tim Cunningham; 2012-David Lichtenstein; 2013-2015 Sarah Liane Foster;-Michael O'Neill) and most of them have also participated in broader social projects as part of or as a result of this alliance with the Clownencuentro.
WORKSHOPS AND SHOWS ADDITIONAL TO THE ANNUAL ‘ENCUENTRO’
2011- Workshop With Barnaby King (England) in Bogotá
2012- Workshop with Fiorella Frommer (Peru) in Bogotá
2012- Workshop with Caroline Dream (England) in Bogotá
2012- Workshop with Tim Cunningham (USA)
2013- Workshop in Lima with the Pérez Correa (Argentina) in Bogotá
2013- Master Class with Caroline Dream (England) in Bogotá
2012- Workshop with Hilary Chaplain (USA) in Lima
2014 Stivelman- Workshop with Victor (Argentina) in Bogotá and Cali
2012- Humanitarian Clown Show with Tim Cuningham (USA) in Lima
2013- Show Of The Pérez Correa in Cali
2014- Number of Fiorella Frommer (Lima) in Mexico
2015- Barnaby King and Fiorella Frommer in Bogota
WHAT IS CLOWNENCUENTRO DOING IN 2017/2018?
The Clownencuentro is currently in a period of reflection and development. While the three core members, Barnaby King (UK), Fiorella Kollmann (Peru) and Ilana Levy (Colombia) continue to develop projects in their home countries, they are also seeking to envision how the Clownencuentro might more effectively support the art of clowning in Latin America for the future. The following are some specific concepts and aspirations which are being explored:
Real and Virtual Networks
The Clownencuentro has the vision of generating networks throughout South America in relation to the social and theatrical clown movement. For this we are designing a new ‘encuentro’ concept where we can continue to provide the opportunity to clowns from around the world to create and promote their art for the benefit of all types of audiences. In the specific theme of hospital and humanitarian clown we are working on the design of a virtual network that can serve as support and advice for those groups that have just started and support and links for those who already have experience.
Business and resourcing support
In Latin America, developing reliable sources of income so that artists can dedicate themselves to this work full time is a significant struggle, which is why this work is often voluntary. For social clowning to grow and thrive, however, sustainable business models must be found, and an ethos of professionalization nurtured. This includes finding new sources of sponsorship, public support and international funding. The Clownencuentro wishes to provide support for groups to help them access the vital resources which make their work possible.
Research and Exchange
Our current vision is to know in depth many of the organizations that carry out this work in other continents and their working methods in order to be a bridge for South America and thus generate a productive dialogue between the groups that allow growth, training and encourage self-motivation to continue carrying out this practice in a responsible and professional manner.