Clowns Without Borders returns to Egypt in partnership with The Nadha Arts School for Social Theatre (NAS). The program will start with an intensive for Egyptian physical theatre artists. The team will then create and tour a street show for street children, refugees, and internally displaced people.
UNHCR reports, “Egypt hosts more than 270,000 registered asylum-seekers and refugees from 65 countries. The majority are from Syria, followed by Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Yemen, and Somalia.”
In Egypt, the majority of refugees are concentrated in urban areas, such as Cairo and Alexandria. Even before COVID-19, rising inflation, unemployment, and economic instability increased the vulnerability of both refugees and host communities. As more and more people in Egypt struggle to cover basic needs, violence and xenophobia increase.
Egypt sources 80% of its wheat from Russia. According the The Guardian,
“The ripple effects of the war include food price inflation, higher interest rates and a devalued currency.”
“We are not using art to deliver messages inundated with human rights issues. Our message is simply joy of art”
The Nahda Arts School for Social Theatre (NAS) aims at enhancing local communities through performances on streets and squares across Egypt’s villages and towns. CWB is delighted to work with NAS alumni to create an original performance to tour throughout Cairo. NAS operates under the El-Nahda Association for Scientific and Cultural Renaissance of Jesuit Cairo.
CWB will lead an intensive for alumni of Nahda Arts School for Social Theatre (NAS). This workshop will be the foundation of a show creation, which the ensemble of Egyptian and American clowns will perform on the streets of Cairo. The team will perform for street children, refugees, and Internally Displaced People. Due to the nature of street shows, the performances are also open to the public.
Mostafa Wafi and Reham Ramzi, founder of NAS are leading the project coordination of the team, including the selection of 3 additional Egyptian artists. David Lichtenstein, Robin Lara, and Hannah Gaff will be representing CWB-USA and leading an intensive.
*Photo of Hannah Gaff in Lebanon in 2017, in collaboration with Clown Me In