Aly Sobhy


From : Cairo
To: Paris

International Clowns Without Borders (France) Meeting

Theatre, Circus

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How did this grant contribute to the realization of your project in regard to artistic exchange, local cultural development and/or the promotion of cultural diversity?

The grant enabled me to meet artists from different parts of the world who share a similar vision: making children happy. As the conference was divided into 3 main 'chapters': 1-Clowns Laboratory: A lab of clowns from different countries, playing and exchanging their artistic experience. This facilitated a fresh outlook on the art of clowning, on how things can be approached differently and on how 'play' unites, encourages, teaches and becomes a facilitator for change. 2-Clowns in Action: This was a more professional channel for the international partnering artists to exchange actual plans and visions to transform our projects into reality. 3-Clowns Dinner: Gave us a chance to speak to the public through our own authentic clown personas, in a magical night we were able (also through play) to exchange visions, share stories and 'be' ourselves. I met wonderful artists. I heard beautiful stories. And I am excited to realize the things I have learnt into actions on the ground for Outa Hamra (Red Tomato), Egypt.

How does exchange, networking and international contacts contribute to the development of your artistic and cultural project?

In the case of CSF, art is a social cause. CSF is an NGO that brings, psychosocial support to vulnerable children and populations in humanitarian crisis through laughter and shows. This is the case for all participating artists, whether individuals or organizations: we all share a common cause. In this case, meeting with artists from different parts of the world showed me how common our problems are - but also gave me a fresh outlook on different approaches. How are we similar? How can we help each other through our different artistic experiences and inputs? How can we create a universal language through laughter? I was lucky to be able to access and learn about many different approaches that tackle similar issues, in different continents. Cultural exchange shows us how in the end we are 'one' despite our linguistic, cultural and other differences. The exchange and the networking enables us to convey this one thing: humans have much more in common than they know to realize, and through cultural exchange we find means to unite us.

Can you elaborate on the learning and knowledge you have gained and shared throughout this experience?

One of the main lessons I learned this time around was the emphasis on the importance of administrative work. How the 'organization' serves and facilitates the overall aims and goals of an artistic project or a social enterprise. I gained a fresh outlook on utilizing administrative work to serve a social and artistic cause. I wholly realized that the organization, is as important as the arts and the passion, when we look at the bigger picture. When we want to serve or (bring joy) to more people. How to balance between the artist and the organization - how both need each other to thrive, grow and reach more people.

Please indicate a link to your current work (website/facebook page)

Roberto Cimetta Fund

c/o ONDA
13 bis rue Henri Monnier
75009 Paris - France


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