When Clowns Without Borders USA goes on tour, we always work with local partner organizations and artists. It’s part of the ethos of “being invited.” Julio Mario Cabarcas López, aka Mü, is a Colombian clown who joined CWB as a collaborator on the Colombia Coastal Tour in February and March, 2018. In this blog, he writes about the experience of working alongside fellow clowns and CWB artists.
Julio Mario Cabarcas López
One of my biggest takeaways from this project is that envisioning something, and then achieving it, is a gift. I’m so grateful to the spirit of Clowns Without Borders. This organization made us part of their being. I’m grateful to Carolina Duncan for sharing her circus skills, and acting as a team leader during this project. And there are so many other people to thank: Palhaços Sem Fronteiras Brasil and its director Aline Moreno; the actress Aline Hernándes; and the Local Colectivo Agua E ‘Coco Clowns Caribbean formed by Diana Bolaño, Mario Bustillo and Julio Cabarcas. Over the course of 20 days, these people helped to bring laughter, hope, and welfare to 7,000 people on the Caribbean coast of Colombia.
Getting the Clowns Together
When we start working together, the energy is so amazing and I feel free to express that there are no borders. I also feel that the idea of “without borders” goes a little beyond my understanding, that there’s something about it that allows us to be together in a different way. We are able to look each other in the face, quietly, and share a show that invites each one of us to trust our own abilities.
Six artists come to our gathering in Barranquilla, and there’s a feeling of high expectation among us. Each person has their own props and stories to determine their character in the show. We talk and move, establishing ways to communicate and get to know one another. After three days of theatrical games and sharing what we know best, we start to approach the story of “The Flight of the Hummingbird.” This story speaks of a time in which humanity loses joy, but the sun itself has an answer. All the most powerful birds offer to fly to the sun, but it’s the hummingbird who manages to reach it. Thanks to this story, each clown feels like a bird in a humanitarian flock. In myself, I discovered a human being who could transform his own world.
The Magic of Clowning
When you enter the world of the clown, everything is possible and magical. You develop skills like touch, observation and listening. These abilities are cultivated by interacting with other people, and reveal themselves when you share with others. We ask a group what their dream is, and a 9-year-old girl answers, “When I grow up, I want to be a clown.” We see the authentic expression of a 5-year-old when she realizes that she can juggle. When you share your artistic treasures, these kinds of experiences are possible.
The show is an opportunity to learn first-hand about the conditions that Colombians live in. People are vulnerable. We arrive at prisons for men, women and children, community kitchens, kindergartens, mental health centers and community organizations that support mothers and babies. We know that supporting communities is an arduous, tireless task. As clowns, we dream of sharing our dignity and respect for life with everyone we meet.
Comrades, thank you for all the magic, effort and dedication that goes into this big dream. We are Clowns Without Borders!