“Circus for Climate” project has come to an end


The “Circus for Climate” project, born out of a collaboration between Riga Circus and the Norwegian circus artists’ network “Acting for Climate” has now come to an end. The project kicked off in spring 2022.

The main goal of the project was to explore the collective empowerment that a multidisciplinary approach to education, art, and activism can provide. The aim was to create a space for youngsters, artists, and environmental specialists to meet and to work together across different regions of Latvia around the topic of art activism for the environment.

During the project, the artists together created and managed creative laboratories in which young people from all over Latvia took part. In the labs, climate issues and art activism were discussed through different art forms. After listening to the vision of young people regarding environmental and climate problems, the circus performance DANDELION was created.

Exploring different realities through spectacular acrobatics, dance, music and the voices of Latvian youth, DANDELION created stunning and unexpected imagery of what the world could become.

The full version of DANDELION was performed in Riga Circus on 19 and 20 May, and a shortened version is to be performed in schools in Latvia over the school year 2023/24. (The full video of the show can be seen HERE.)

“Climate change can no longer be the concern of environmental activists alone. The climate crisis is an indisputable fact and we must all be involved in fighting against it. The ways to promote the changes in the society can be very different, including the ways of conveying the message. Circus, as a form of contemporary art, wants to be actively involved in talking about the climate change,” says Ieva Ozoliņa, manager of the “Circus for Climate” project.

“Climate change is not a crisis of science or engineering. Climate change is a cultural crisis, caused by our overconsumption of fossil fuels and natural resources. We must change culture through culture. Acting for Climate has together with Latvian artist created a new performance about taking action on Climate change. We must ask ourselves, if not us, then who? If not now, then when?” says Amund Bentsen, one of the producers of DANDELION from “Acting for Climate”.

Along with the performance, a comic strip book “The Green journey” was created and was to be presented during the performances.

Also during the project, a workshop for culture industry professionals from the regions of Latvia was held to discuss the methods how to attract different target audiences, especially young people, to contemporary art.

“Circus for Climate” is the largest project in the history of the Riga circus so far, and also the first international project of this scope. We are very happy about this new experience in many ways and proud of what the team has done,” says Māra Pāvula, director of the Riga Circus.

The project has been created with the support of the European Economic Area (EEA) Grants Financial Mechanism funding period 2014. – 2021. program “Local Development, Poverty Reduction, and Cultural Cooperation” open call “Support for the Creation of Professional Art and Cultural Products for Children and Youth”.