Website: http://www.circus2iraq.org (opens in new tab)
The Circus takes love, laughter, smiles and silliness directly to people who need it most, children and families caught up in our ludicrous warmongering for oil and land in the heart of the world.
We started out in 2003/4 as a direct and active response to the illegal Iraqi war.
Jo Wilding had spent time in Iraq before the invasion, was kicked out during it and returned with a random bunch of clowns in spring 2004.
Since then we have travelled to other regions of the Middle East affected by our war warmongering leaders these include Palestine, Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Kurdistan.
We have run 6 tours so far over our 6 years of existence, we have spent around 14 months in the Middle East putting on about 270 shows and reaching out with laughter and smiles to over 50,000 children.
We finance ourselves by putting on tip top events in the UK during the autumn months, sometimes we organise these and sometimes other willing and able starlets work on them, many many wonderful people, performers, musicians have collaborated on the these events. We also roam the summer festival circuit informing people and begging for funds, with the grass roots support of these events we can take the Circus to some of the most isolated and oppressed places in the world.
We hope that by being silly and playing games we can break down the barriers physical and mental ones that our so called leaders have put in place to create tensions and conflicts that only serve to make both sides miserable and only profit the few greedy corporations that are selling war as the only possible global future for humanity.
We also donate funds directly to groups we meet along the course of our travels, often small grass roots groups have big problems gathering funds from big charities, so sometimes we have put cash into the hands of brave locals to assist them on the first steps to cleaning up their environment, forming groups, hiring spaces to work in and setting up small community enterprise schemes examples so far are a sewage drainage system built in an Iraqi refugee camp, funds to set up sewing groups in the West Bank, and cash to hire rehearsal spaces in Cairo for exiled Iraqi refugees and Egyptians to collaborate on theater projects in.