Colombian clowns

Julie Knox | Colombia

Logos Hope’s crewmembers were encouraged to let their inner child loose as they participated in a day-long clowning workshop. 

A troupe of professional clowns from Barranquilla, Colombia came on board the ship to run the workshop as a means of equipping the international volunteers to connect better with people without having to use words.

After a morning of games to break the ice and discussion about the techniques used in clowning, the crewmembers then dressed up and performed for the visiting public in Logos Hope’s bookfair and International Café.

Lead clown Mario Bustillos told the team, “A clown is like a person performing in the mirror when no-one sees him.” Pamela Mua (Papua New Guinea) took the advice on board when it was her turn to act. “I felt like I could be the personality I hide when I’m not wanting to make a fool of myself. When that makes other people happy, I don’t feel shy!” she laughed.

“In the moment, we forgot about ourselves," said Christa Shipman (USA). “We were real and spontaneous. The audience was super excited, laughing along with us and singing back!”

Camilo Fernandez, who performs under the name ‘Coco the Clown’, is a Christian mime artist and musician who shares his faith through drama; acting out stories of love, mercy and joy. He says his workshops build unity and transmit joy. “It’s a universal language!” he said, in Spanish.

And despite their instructors speaking no English, the ten clowning participants were able to understand without difficulty.

Annelie Menges (Germany) said, “We couldn’t have done better with translation. Using our face and hands got the message across and connected on a deeper level. I’m going to use it as I work in the bookfair when Latin Americans ask me questions!”

Hannah Davidson (Australia) learnt that the purpose of clowning shouldn’t be about making a spectacle of yourself and trying to be funny. “It is to meet the person where they are, and with the right amount of gentleness, show love to that person by finding the joy. I think it’s something that can apply to every conversation we have,” she said, at the conclusion of the workshop.

Published: Friday, 12 January 2018
Credit: Julie Knox
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