Bringing laughter to Syrian and Palestinian refugees

Bringing laughter to Syrian and Palestinian refugees



Aurea Santos* (

São Paulo – The clown group Traço Cia de Teatro, from Santa Catarina, will take part of the second edition of Festiclown Palestina, in October. The event will bring circus shows from several parts of the world to Palestinians e Syrians who live in refugees camps in Lebanon. The company is the only one from Brazil to take part in the festival.

Festiclown Palestina had its first edition in 2011 and is organized by the Spanish Iván Prado, director of the group Pallasos em Rebeldia, which takes the circus world to areas with military conflicts or social injustice. Débora de Matos, actress from Traço Cia de Teatro, tells us that her group is partners with the Spanish company and that is why it was invited to the Arabian festival.

“We started with the desire to insert the clown in the process of rescuing dreams, humanity. We are preparing this kind of work to people who are not allowed the right to laugh”, Matos explains.

The Brazilian group consists of four actors, but for now only two are confirmed to go to Lebanon. They will present at the camps in Nahr Al-Bared, Baddawi, Bourj Al Barajneh, Shatila e Ain Al-Hilweh. For the trip, the company gathered resources from the Brazilian Ministry of Culture. The event, which originally would take place in January, is now scheduled to happen from October 02 to 12.

According to Matos, the group knows little about how the Palestinians and Syrians which will watch the presentation live. “We are going to see their reality there. They are people who were displaced and that makes them lose their family referential, lose their wishes. To us, [the festival] is the reconstruction of a dream, how to reconstruct the will to fight, the trust in oneself, to fight for their dreams, to believe in them”, she says.

The actress says that the numbers chosen for the presentation are those which are silent, because of the language barrier. “We had to make use of more physical language, more corporeal”, she says. One of the scenes shows a clown who composes a song, but ends up being disturbed by an assistant who wants to be the center of attention during the songs presentation.

The theater company is located in the city of Florianópolis. The group also performs in hospitals with the support of other artist collaborators. Access the website to know more about the theater company.

*Translated by Rodrigo Mendonça

Source: ANBA