It all started for me back in 2006, while I was studying sociology at the faculty at the University of Buenos Aires. The capital was in these days a scene filled with students from all over Latin America and a great number of worldly backpackers. Many stopped by Buenos Aires, attracted to the city because of its cultural, dynamic, metropolitan pulse. Here, I was drawn/allured into taking a clown course at the summer university, and this is how I became hooked. (But I did not know it then).
I had left Denmark to study social movements, genocide, the political and economical landscape in Latin America. I was an activist at heart. While being deeply engaged in my studies, reading literature by Nietzsche, Foucault and Hannah Arendt, a big fan of books, I was recommended taking a course in clowning to try something else. This was an introductory course, we were 60 students and I liked it.
However, I could not continue, because of the time schedule, so I asked for alternatives, and slowly I got into participating in a clown group that met every Monday. Our maestra was Cristina Marti. Here I developed my first figure, which was a feminine edition of the football legend Maradona.
– Her name was MaraDonna and she was incredible clumsy and unable to score any goals, yet she thought she was a winner. Several of the group members tried to convince me to pick another figureBut I had fun, and I would not change.
Years later, the clown spirit was still with me as the experience stayed with me as a strong vivid memory. In 2008, in search for an interesting project to study for my thesis, I stumbled across a social program in Mexico city using alternative new circus activities for kids as an umbrella for creating trust, inspiration and social community in a local abandoned lawless area (“una ciuidad perdida” a slang name for a slum area).
In Mexico city I followed the group of psychologists, pedagogues, circus artists who worked in a collaboration with Cirque du Monde, trying to understand the dynamics of this project and collecting data. I became inspired by the clear and visible meaning-giving impact this program had on the quality of life for the kids. And the project became the first glimpse into what power the clown holds in becoming one authentic self.
And from here another more years passed by, before it really struck me what the energy of the clown is about. From 2014 and up until now, I have been studying and experiencing being a clown in my own body, taking classes in clown in Buenos Aires, where clown is booming at the moment.