In 2012, MakeShift member Sara Gregory walked the streets and metros of New York City collecting the email addresses of 1000 strangers who agreed to accompany her on a two year journey through Latin America by receiving monthly cartoons about her experiences and reflections. Below are a few of the cartoons, the stories that accompany them are collected on the following blog: www.thesocialcircus.blogspot.com
Below you will find Sara’s description of the project…
Over the course of two mind-blowing years, I had the great fortune to travel through 11 countries from México City to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil collaborating with individuals, groups and organizations who share a passion for social work through the language of circus. I spent the first 7 months traveling with KQDA [Collective That Brings Happiness], a culturally diverse collective of independent social artists [clowns, jugglers, aerialists, dancers, musicians, and anyone else who wants to join in :)] who have developed various projects over the last six years using performance art as a tool for social integration and transformation.
I shared the next three months and miles with a group called América Latina Collectiva whose work is oriented to reflect on how, why and who can build cooperation among peoples of Latin America. We were 9 people stuffed in a motorhome traveling from Mexico City to Panama collaborating with various social organizations through a three part strategy: a social circus show with the theme of collaboration, a workshop with the same theme, and the production of a documentary. These 3 actions work together to create a space to reflect and build strategies on how social movements throughout Latin America can collaborate, the idea being that by connecting these movements, we can become one united front toward a more just society for all. ( http://www.alcoop.org/definicion?lang=en )
Through South America, I traveled on my own with the help of generous world citizens who guided me by offering everything from directions to companionship to food to shelter to just a kind smile as I made my way from one organization to the next. I had the immense honor of working with such groups as Arena y Esteras, Cuatro Sociales, ACLAP, Circo del Mundo, Nemcatacoa Teatro, Circo Ciudad, and EcoCirco. This incredible trip climaxed with the experience of my dream to collaborate with the founders of social circus, Se Essa Rua Fosse Minha, in Rio de Janeiro.
The trip was funded through various activities. Many organizations with which I collaborated offered food and housing while I worked with them. For other expenses, performance in the streets [busking] and in local venues, making and selling origami paper products, seeking contracts with social organizations in the communities that I visited, and the generous financial collaboration of the amazing folks who followed me along the way helped keep my belly full [thank you sooooo much!] If you are interested in collaborating financially, please know that your generosity goes a long way to support the continue social projects that have sprouted since my return to the United States. On the homepage of the blog, please click on the “Buy Me a Taco” icon to donate!