Creation in Crisis

Farhad Mirza and Declan Mee

What compels us to create art during a crisis? How has art seen us through times of peril throughout history? How have we used our bodies to articulate our inner worlds and speak truth to power? This podcast delves into the social history of the performing arts in times of peril. Building from the Spanish flu to the current pandemic, it explores the power of the performing arts when we have needed them the most. Created by Farhad Mirza and Declan Mee. Supported by Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media. read less


The Subversive Act
Feb 18 2022
The Subversive Act
This episode is about the multicultural, multiethnic communities of travelling circuses and how they confronted the racist ideology of the Nazis.   When the Nazis came to power in 1933, they wanted to use the popularity of traveling circuses to spread cultural propaganda. The circus was, after all, about ideal, disciplined, extra-human bodies. However, many traveling circuses were either owned by or employed performers and workers from diverse communities, including Jewish, Roma and Sinti. The Nazis set out to 'purify' the circus - but met a renegade force to be reckoned with. Belonging to minority backgrounds, trained in the physical arts and always on the move, traveling circus artists of the era don't feature much in history books, nor did they write many. Though they made history, they disappeared from it. Some recent research projects have begun to unearth their stories of persecution and resistance.   Credits: Created by: Farhad Mirza and Declan Mee Presenter: Farhad Mirza Guest Contributors: Dr. Malte Gasche (University of Helsinki), Ariane Öchsner. Script: Farhad Mirza Script editors: Declan Mee, Zietra Møller. Sound engineering: Farhad Mirza Music: Farhad Mirza   Sources and suggested reading:     Diverging Fates research project, exploring the lives of traveling circus people during the Nazi era:   Leni Riefenstahl and the way we see the Olympics:   Jesse Owens and the defeat of Nazi dogmas at the 1936 summer Olympic games:   Nazis and the 'Aryanization' of circus:   Story of Theresa Zauser:   Raymond Gurème:   The Josef and Rosa Eisemann Story (in German):   Adolf Althoff: