The pink and green sparkles of the urban jungle

by Chloe Waters

From a small seed of an idea, born on a spring afternoon in Oranienplatz, Zirkus Schafft Raum has grown into a fully fledged community, on a mission to inspire, challenge and empower the children and young people of Neukölln and Kreuzbergs Roma Communities. Over the past year, Zirkus Shafft Raum, or “Circul te înalță” in Romanian, has grown from its playful beginnings in Oranienplatz last summer, and spread across the city to participate in the summer Spielstrasse project from Dresdener straße, as well as weekly actions with communities in Hertzbergplatz and Indianer Park. As the project grew, our multinational team also grew to include circus pedagogues, musicians, artists, teachers, performers and volunteers from the local and global community. Together we shared our love for not only circus but also music, upcycling, theatre, magic, art and all things creative. 

The collaboration with Trial & Error was sparked when Xénia, the initiator of the project, participated in an upcycling workshop as a translator for Romanian children. That many of the Zirkus Schafft Raum team speak fluent Romanian was a really important element when approaching the community meant we were able to communicate and build trustful relationships with parents and families over the course of the project. It was a joy to see the children's curiosity and willingness each time they saw us arrive, and to witness how much they grow not just in circus abilities but also in confidence and social skills. 

To close a year of playful creation, we celebrated our very own “Herbstfest // Petrecere de toamnă” at Indianer Parks playground. We decorated ourselves with face paint, and decorated the playground with a gallery of art and photos from the project, to give the children and their families a chance to be proud of all they had created together. Together we made music, circus, danced, ate delicious food and shared our gratitude for the beautiful community that had evolved from the project.

As we come to the end of the chapter 2022 for Zirkus Schafft Raum we also look to see what ideas we can brew over the winter and what next spring will bring! With the team we closed the project with a celebratory meal, and made the time to reflect on our experiences and how we imagine the project to grow over the next year. Now that we have built up a trustful relationship with the families, we agreed that we would like to continue to deepen our understanding of and how we can respond to the needs of the community. We would love to also include more music from the Roma community, and to make music a bigger part of the project, cultural exchange evening, traditional costume and dance, celebrate and provide a space to make their culture visible and show it is something to be proud of.  As Circul te înalță grows, we also recognise the need to tell the stories of this community. For our next chapter we hope to create a documentary movie to celebrate Roma culture, and also share the development of the project and the community as it grows. We would also love to continue to inspire this community to dream big about their own futures, and take them to see a larger circus production such as Cirque du Soleil. Maybe one day we will even have our own pink and green traveling circus tent! 

Thank you Trial and Error for hosting this beautiful journey.

Big thanks also to Zirkus Macht Stark for the fundings and to our partner organisations- CABUWAZI Kreutzberg and Jonglirium e.V.

A huge thanks for the motivation and dedication of our wonderful team of this year: Andrei Bach, Konstantin Baricz Grimm, Xénia Baricz Grimm, Lorena Terzi, Bridget Hinez, Steve Schoefield, Ozge Tuncali, Chloe Waters and Nini Amiranashvili, as well for our guest artist and volunteers who shared their beautiful energy and art for some sessions, such as  Péter Bób, Camille Blondel, Tom Tom Timon, Eric Evans,  Ash Perrin, Eric, Gidi Farhi, Daniela Palickova, Inigo Garcia Cantero and Andrea Vargas Madrid.


Read more : Circus adventure on Oranienplatz - Project Zirkus sucht Raum! - Kulturlabor Trial&Error (