© Red Noses International – Miloš Vučićević
This series of short videos portrays people’s various experiences with clowning and the impact of humour, art, and joyful encounters. It shows the different ways in which Clowning Connects Us.
Those featured in the series consider the spaces and capacities that the art of clowning can open in humans, the opportunities for connection it creates and the intention of using humour, creativity, and play.
Healthcare clowning is recognised as an artistic intervention and complementary approach to health and social care. The art of clowning is compromised by a variety of artisti expressions, including, but not limited to dance, sensory play, music, and improv.
The act of incorporating healthcare clowning into health interventions seeks to provide more access to art and humour and therefore, address the psychosocial needs and well-being of target groups.
What does it mean to dedicate your life to clowning? Is it possible to be a professional fool? What spaces does humour open in you, and can you access it when you need it? Janna embarked upon a professional path to become a clown. She undertook intensive training to discover how to connect with people through humour, joy, and play. Along with her clown persona, she invites those she encounters to share their vulnerability, silliness, and fun.
Janna Haavisto has been working as a professional clown artist with the Finnish healthcare clowning organisation Sairaalaklovnit for seven years. In addition, she runs her own theatre group Grus Grus Theatre and works as an actress specialising in physical theatre and character work.
Grief and mourning play an important part in working with people in hospitals and care facilities. Is it possible to take grief and transform it into joy and humour? How does working with the paradox of mourning and joy on a daily basis impact your personal life?
Jordi Solé is an artistic director and professional clown artist with the Healthcare Clowning Organisation Pallapupas in Barcelona, Spain. He has been directing and creating shows since 1998 in the world of theater, clown, movement and street art, paying particular attention to searching for a personal language in the field of humor.
When you lose access to your memories, what can help you to connect with them again? Are emotions timeless even when memories are lost?
An Alzheimer’s diagnosis is a shock to not only the individual affected but to their whole family. Such a diagnosis forces everyone to adjust to a new normal. Anita shares her experience following her mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis and discusses the importance of family connection. Beauty and familiarity can be found in the small things. It’s through small moments of joy that a person with dementia can still lead a happy life.
Anita Materljan tells the story of her mother, Milka Meničanin, who is regularly visited by Crveni Nosovi clowns in Croatia.
How does humour help us to reconnect with ourselves? Can it act as a bridge between us and our memories?
Memories are an important part of who we are and how we perceive the world. People living with dementia often experience a rapid loss of their memories which can trigger feelings of confusion and loss. This confusion and lack of clarity can be recognized in the blurriness of Andrea’s video. Humour can create space for relief and joy to coexist alongside these challenging feelings.
Andrea Kiss is a clown and mental health specialist in a social care home in Hungary. She works as a professional clown artist with the organisation Piros Orr in Hungary.
How does the art of clowning touch the lives of different people? Can it take us on a journey through time? What are the emotional implications of artistic interventions?
There is a fundamental need for joy in every human being. We connect with one another through small moments of laughter and happiness. Clowning alone does not create joy but creates the space for it to exist. The clown character is always looking for adventure, connection, and fun.
Manfred Lorenz was visited by “ROTE NASEN” clowns in the social care home “Haus Martha” in Klagenfurt, Austria where he was living for the past years due to his dementia diagnosis. These visits brought a great deal of joy to both Manfred and the clowns.
Manfred Lorenz passed away a few weeks after filming this video.
For Kaisa, to be a clown is to be fully present, purely open through the breathing body to the deepest layers of emotions. To not shy away from the new or extraordinary. Curiosity and sensitivity can help us all find ways to connect and engage with the full spectrum of play. In the spectrum of play, there is space for every tone, sense, and emotion. It’s a place where everyone can come and share the present moment.
Kaisa Koulu has worked as a professional clown artist with the Finnish healthcare clowning organisation Sairaalaklovnit since 2016. Before clowning, she worked for over 15 years as a professional dance artist in the field of community arts and performing.
The language of art is universal. Everyone can connect through art, no matter who they are or where they come from.
Through clowning, the language of art creates a space for emotional connection and acceptance. This is particularly significant for children with autism. These children and the clowns they interact with accept one another exactly as they are. Artistic creativity is a form of liberation that everyone has the right to experience.
Renata Kvederienė is a teacher for children on the Autism Spectrum at the Vilnius Šilas school in Lithuania.
How does clowning inspire? Does it have the potential to change lives? Can it enhance our relationship with our own emotions?
For some, a connection with clowning feels like a privilege. The emotional impact of clowning can last a lifetime and trigger a desire to spread the power of laughter and joy with others. Clowning allows emotions to flow freely and gives people permission to laugh during even the darkest times.
Christina Matuella is working for the Austrian Organisation ROTE NASEN since more than 25 years as a professional clown artist. For her, discovering clowning meant finding a home and, herself.