Equity – Otherness – Cultural Diversity: 3 Seminars on Circus, 1–2 Nov. Helsinki

A series of talks, meetings and a physical workshop addressing the questions of equity, otherness and cultural diversity in circus are organised collaboratively in Helsinki during 1–2. November 2019.   The two-day programme consists of:

  • 5th edition of Women in Circus Consortium: Towards Equity in Circus
    by the Nordic Women in Circus Network and CircusInfo Finland

  • Words & Acts: The Otherness in Circus seminar
    by choreographer Iiro Näkki, the Uniarts Helsinki’s Theatre Academy and Cirko – Center for New Circus

  • Cultural diversity in Circus, panel discussion
    by  Pablo Alvarez and Globe Art Point 

The series of events is open for all. Registration is required. Places are limeted.
Registration is now open and is closed latest on Oct 30. 
Please registrate here >>>


5th edition of Women in Circus Consortium: Towards Equity in Circus

The Women in Circus Consortium is an International reunion inviting circus artists and other parties to a series of lectures, discussions, workshops and networking activities in relation to the agency of Women in Circus.

The programme is a mix of lectures, workshops and talks. You’ll have access to lectures on gender and equity in the Performing arts sector, a lecture about gender bias by Chloe de Buyl-Pisco, a workshop on presence by performer and PhD candidate Stacey Sacks, discussions on pedagogy in our circus schools, discussion on our conditions in the fields and other networking activities!

All activities are open to people of all genders.

Schedule (subject to changes)

Friday November 1, 2019

PLEASE NOTE: the change of venue: 

10.00–16.15  Venue: Nordic Culture Point, Kaisaniemenkatu 9, 00171 Helsinki (Kaisaniemi)

10.00 Morning coffee

10.15-10.30 Welcome to the Women in Circus Consortium 

Welcome by Lotta Vaulo (managing director, CircusInfo Finland) and Johanna Mäkelä (head of development, Finland at CircusInfo Finland)
Welcome by Chloé De Buyl-Pisco (representative Nordic Women in Circus Network, host of the Consortium)

10.30-11.00 Lecture: UN-conscious BIAS – How to un-know the unconscious
Lecturer: Chloé de Buyl-Pisco

No one can be objectively trusted to conduct decisions with zero bias, especially in the context of patriarchal biases in media and the world. This lecture will aim to:
– Factually get us on the same page and not assume we all know and have read the same studies on unconscious bias.
– To equip us with key stats and facts, to enable us developing discourses beyond the consortium with a wide range of people.
– Provide with an up to date of the latest discoveries on the subject and ways to combat the phenomenon.

Chloé de Buyl-Pisco is a director, choreographer, dancer, Aerialist, theoretician and masters by research student at Stockholm University of the Arts in Sweden, where she also teaches.  Her fields of interest include: neurochemistry, feminism, physics, social sciences and philosophy. As an artistic researcher she is currently conducting the “Oxytocin Project“. Oxytocin is our empathy, compassion, love, connection, trust and bonding neurotransmitter. She is developing artwork based on the theories and data quoted in her paper: “The Oxytociniergic solutions for human systems and creative applicability”. Three years ago she also began tacit practice lead research with non-verbal ComMunication with other oxytocin making mammals, in her case underwater dancing with wild humpback whales. 

11.00-12.00 Workshop 1: On the questions of equity, fair treatment, gender and bias: How are we doing in our circus schools?
Moderator: Chloé de Buyl-Pisco

We will attend to discuss pedagogical methods, approaches, activities, courses, behaviours, moments and measures that would be good to avoid or implement in our circus schools program and also on the professional field. 

12.00-13.00  Lunch break (on own cost)  

13.00–15.00  Recent surveys and discussions on equity in the cultural sector and performing arts in Finland 

Marjo Mäenpää/ Cupore: Asiallista! Tasa-arvo ja työolot kulttuurin toimialalla (2018–19) by Cupore, center for cultural policy research. Publication Tyttöhän soittaa kuin mies.  

Mikko Karvinen/ Theatre Info Finland (TINFO): Power, Responsibility and Equal Treatment – a survey on the achievement of equality and equal treatment in the field of performing arts (2019) 

Lotta Vaulo/ CircusInfo Finland: Sexual harassment in the circus sector: Results of the Finnish survey (2017–18) 

Kaisa Paavolainen / Theatre Centre: A training for performing arts professionals on equity, equality and prevention of harassment by the Finnish Performing Arts Federations in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Culture. 

15.00-15.15  Coffee

15.15–16.00 Workshop 2: Women in Circus Schools – Women in professional fields
Moderator: Chloé De Buyl-Pisco

Let’s round up: Summary of the day. 

16.00-16.15  Conclusions and goodbye

18.00–20.00 Workshop: Impulsive Studio: spontaneous making, listening, seeing, thinking by Stacey Sacks

Venue: Performance center ESKUS, Kaasutehtaankatu 1, 00540 Helsinki (Suvilahti, Puhdistamo building 6, 2nd floor)

“In my research I’ve been experimenting with ways of giving attention in expanded forms of performance, wondering if attentiveness to the minutiae of the everyday can affect the way listening happens. With this specific aim of encouraging new ways of listening, ‘impulsive studio’ mixes theatre, clown and mask games with spontaneous creation in sculpture, drawing, writing and performance. This workshop could be perceived as a creative kick-starter, an attempt (which may just fail) to connect each participant with their own impulses at this current moment. It attempts to make community for a while, at least a short while.”

Stacey Sacks is a PhD candidate in Performing Arts at Stockholm’s University of the Arts. Her Doctoral Project Improvising Trickster takes form as a suite of hyper-disciplinary experiments with mask, clown, stop-motion animation, film, photography, sculpture, text, drawing and performance. 

The workshop is organised by Nordic Women in Circus network in collaboration with the Uniarts Helsinki’s Theatre Academy and Cirko – Center for New Circus.

About the Nordic Women in Circus Network (NWCN)

Established in 2017, the NWCN wants to create a connection between the women in circus arts. The network aims to raise awareness on the challenges related to the status of women in circus extending to the role of women in society at large.

The network organizes activities in the Nordic countries, which give opportunities to female circus artists and peers to share, discuss, gain knowledge, develop and strengthen critical reflections on the agency of women in circus and related topics. The network has members in 23 countries. CircusInfo Finland co-operates in the activities organised in Finland.

The Nordic Women in Circus Network aims to:
-Unite the creative forces of women in circus
-Increase visibility of circus works directed and or performed by women
-Provoke dialogues on the topic of gender and norm-creativity in circus arts
-Contributes to the development of feminist strategies in the field of circus
-Share and transfer knowledge from existing feminist practice and research.
-Strengthen and develop collaborations in relation to the agency of women in circus 

With the support of Nordic Culture fund and Nordic Culture Point.

In collaboration with Cirkör LAB (SE), DYNAMO Workspace for circus & performing arts (DK) and CircusInfo Finland (FI). Produced by CirkusPerspektiv AB.

Words & Acts: Otherness in Circus

As part of the Equity – Otherness – Cultural diversity: 3 seminars on Circus Arts event program, the Words & Acts: Otherness in Circus -seminar invites artists and researchers in the performing arts to a discussion on circus arts. Revolving around thematics of i.e. privilege and practice in relation to the history of oppression, the seminar offers two propositions on how to work between practice and research in the circus field of today.

The seminar brings two internationally well-known circus researchers to Helsinki. The event is comprised of a lecture-performance by Camilla Damkjaer (PhD, Assistant professor in Dance, University of Southern Denmark) and a performance essay by Stacey Sacks (PhD candidate, School of Dance and Circus, University of the Arts Stockholm), followed by a panel discussion. The language of the event will be English.

The seminar is organized by choreographer Iiro Näkki, Uniarts Helsinki’s Theatre Academy, and Cirko – Center for New Circus, in collaboration with CircusInfo Finland, Nordic Women in Circus Network and Arts Management Helsinki.


Saturday, November 2nd 2019 

10:00 – 13:30 Venue: Performance center ESKUS, Kaasutehtaankatu 1, 00540 Helsinki (Suvilahti, Puhdistamo building 6, 2nd floor)

10.00 – 10.15  Opening words, Iiro Näkki

10.15 – 11.00 Lecture-performance
Camilla Damkjaer / Woolly Yoga: Circus on the Mat

11.15 – 12.00 Performance essay
Stacey Sacks / : SATYRIC BODIES :

12.15 – 13.30 Panel discussion with Stacey Sacks, Camilla Damkjaer, Chloé de Buyl-Pisco

13.30 Closing words, Iiro Näkki 

Note also: Stacey Sacks gives a workshop “Impulsive Studio: spontaneous making, listening, seeing, thinking” on Friday, November 1 at 18.00–20.00. For more information see above under Women in Circus Consortium.

Cultural diversity in Circus: Mobilities, encounters and solidarities

Saturday, November 2nd 2019 

Venue: Performance center ESKUS, Kaasutehtaankatu 1, 00540 Helsinki (Suvilahti, Puhdistamo building 6, 2nd floor)

13.35–14.00 Coffee /tea and snacks 

14.00–15.00 Cultural diversity in Circus: Mobilities, encounters and solidarities

©Paula Lee/Pascal Benbrik 2019

The last part of Equity – Highness – Cultural diversity: 3 seminars on the Circus Arts event program, is a panel discussion on Cultural Diversity, where an artist and a researcher are invited to discuss mobilities, encounters and solidarities in the circus arts inside and outside of the borders of European territory. Analyzing and establishing a dialogue between the past and the present that allows us to reflect on a more hopeful future.


Malte Gasche is a Ph.D. at Humboldt University of Berlin and Researcher and Project Manager at the Centre for Nordic Studies at the University of Helsinki and his last research project: Forgotten Cosmopolitans: Diverging Fates of Europe’s Circus People in the Wake of WWII. 
The aim of this project is to collaborate with members of the circus community to achieve new knowledge about the impact of WWII – the political climate leading to the war, the war itself and its aftermath – on the fates of Europe’s circus people. These people who not only pursued an itinerant way of life but were also often members of a minority group, constantly experienced exclusion and racism and were subjected to various forms of oppression by the majority population, including state authorities. Nonetheless, circus people often showcased social and ethnic diversity. More information: www.forgottencosmopolitans.eu 

Amandine Doat, dancer and circus artist. Amandine Doat is a French artist whose passion for adventure brought her all the way to Finland. She graduated as a contemporary dancer at the CNSMD Conservatory of Lyon in 2011. She got also a bachelor’s degree in dramaturgy from the University of Lyon. With an interest in multidisciplinary performances, including circus, she began studying at Lahti Circus School in Finland. At school, she majored in aerial acrobatics and juggling. She graduated in 2015. She is one of the founders of Cirque des Puces. In addition, she works as a freelancer with other dancers, circus artists and theater directors, including Satu Tuomisto, Hanna Brotherus, Nathan Thomson, Henna Kaikula, Greete Gross, Jean-Marie Doat, Willem Wilhelmus. cirquedespuces.wordpress.com 
Moderator: Pablo Alvarez is a clown, director of Marino Clown Company and producer of International Clown Festival in Finland. His fields of interest include: clown-based research, rituals of transgression, theory of laughter, narratives of displacement and the new Museology. As an artistic researcher he is currently creating a new project called Magda, a new crip queer icon of our Neo Barroque Era. A monster turned from a freak into an almost supernaturally powerful assertion of individuality, who claims the memory of the others. A clown subverted the normative imaginary and criticism of totalizing discourses. More information: www.facebook.com/marinoclown ja payasomarcelino.com
The panel discussion is organized by the clown Pablo Alvarez and Globe Art Point in collaboration with Uniarts Helsinki’s Theatre Academy.
Globe Art Point is an independent information centre and meeting point aimed to promote equality and accessibility inside the Finnish art and culture sector. G.A.P is supported by Finnish Cultural Fondation, Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and City of Helsinki. 
15.00 Closing words, Pablo Alvarez.