Queer Circus: Against Gender and Sexual Orientation Discrimination — Italy


ERASMUS+, Key action 1: training course

Venue: Palazzo Ulmo, Taranto, Italy

Dates: 25 May—2 June 2024

Czech team: 1 participant

Please read the info-pack

Hosting organisation: ArcigayTaranto TarantoPride

Project report:

I took part in the Erasmus+ training course “Queer Circus: Against Gender and Sexual Orientation Discrimination” at the beautiful historic Palazzo Ulmo, Taranto, Italy. The program is set up to fight discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation through the medium of circus arts.

Workshops and several other activities took place during this course, out of which circus skills training introduced me to juggling, acrobatics, and clowning; these also turned out to be related to the themes of teamwork and communication. Ginger groups were sharing personal experiences and how to cope with discrimination. Theoretical sessions included lectures on the history of the LGBTQ+ movement and advocacy. We produced and performed a circus show reflecting themes of inclusivity and diversity.

One example was a visit to Pride in Taranto on June 1, where participants have the opportunity to witness and engage with community-level action in that regard, thus driving some of the lessons learned from our course home.

I left this course with much deeper understanding and empathy regarding LGBTQ+ issues, acquiring the basic practical circus arts skills, and how to actually carry out and apply it toward better social change. Most important of all, I have built strong international networks and partnerships with different participants and organizations. Everybody’s feedback was simply amazing. Among the comments, it was said that this was something quite new: this relationship of circus arts to social activism—and it was an inclusive, representative, and practically supportive atmosphere that made it even greater.

Sofiia I.

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