The Nordic Baltic Circus Huddle (NBCH) contributes to inclusive, accessible, and gender-equal art that challenges the norms it strengthens and represents, which contributes to people’s sense of belonging.
Through the NBCH, representatives from 185 circus companies, stages, festivals, and organisations (of which 134 are from the Nordic and Baltic countries) met to discuss, think about, and collaborate on the topic for two days over two rounds (February and April 2020). The participants’ organisations and projects were presented in pitches and digital spaces by way of pre-recorded videos and in an online exhibition. The aim was to elevate the awareness and discourse of the Nordic-Baltic circus sector in issues relating to inclusion and exclusion.
The content came to focus on racism, however, as an applicable example of other types of exclusion. The seminar element, The Huddle, looked at representation, with the aim of encouraging participants to adopt new positions in respect of content, representation, and audiences.
Continued Nordic and international co-operation
The NBCH was implemented as part of the building of a network of festivals, artists, academics, research projects, and resource centres, offering huge potential for enabling the knowledge and experiences raised during the meeting to live on in new forms.
Collaborations from the project are continuing in a variety of forms. This includes collaboration between partners from Sweden, Denmark, Lithuania, Latvia, Norway, and Finland with funding from Nordic Culture Point for the short-term network, THE WEAVE. Subtopia and Cirkus Syd will work together nationally to show circus films. A Nordic conference will be arranged by the Helsingör theatre, CircusInfo Finland, and Subtopia. In addition, The Huddle has been in demand as a concept for, among others, the Swedish industry organisation Manegen (national) and the European platform CircusNext (international), and even in the US (international).