A Clown In No Man’s Land

Creation in Crisis

Feb 28 2022 • 42 mins

Our guest day is Joanna Bassi, a clown who has been active in the circus arena for many decades now. She is the 5th generation of a family of circus artists, many of whom were witnesses, saboteurs and survivors during several historical upheavals. In this conversation, she discusses the oral histories of travelling circus performers; the many different meanings, forms and traditions of resistance they cultivated, and the difficult choices they faced. We also look at contemporary forms of resistance and how the figure of the clown offers fascinating lessons in the art of subversion.

Episode Credits:

Created by: Farhad Mirza and Declan Mee Host: Farhad Mirza Guest Contributors: Joanna Bassi. Music and production: Farhad Mirza

Suggested Reading:

How One Man Escaped The Holocaust And Saved His Family By Clowning, The Guardian.

Laughter Keepers Exploring The Medicine Clown Tradition of the Wampanoag, by Mwalim.

Anti-authoritarian Clowning

On Resistance: A Philosophy of Defiance by Howard Caygill - Review, The Guardian.

Clowns without Borders