Photo of a performance from the UNHCR video. Credit: UNHCR. Video link:
Photo of a performance from the UNHCR video. Credit: UNHCR. Video link:

"Clown Me In" is a theatre company that works to inform and cheer up refugees in Lebanon and disadvantaged people around the world. The project involves a group of artists who use a travelling caravan project to bring joy to the refugee camps in Lebanon.

"Clown Me In" is a theatre company founded by Sabine Choucair, from Lebanon, and Gabriela Munoz, from Mexico.

"Through interactive workshops and performances, the company uses clowns to spread laughter and provide relief to disadvantaged communities, while exploring human vulnerabilities and providing individuals a way to accept them," says the company’s website. 

The company "has worked in communities around the world," including Mexico, Lebanon, Morocco, Jordan, Syria, Greece, and with Palestinian refugees. In a video by the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR, co-founder Choucair said, "I formed this group here. We've been working in refugee camps with disadvantaged communities. This is our third caravan project, which is a street performance that is based on stories from people."

The performance presents the 12 essential rights of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. "For us it is so important, because we feel like, even if only for an hour, we change the atmosphere. There's a lot of joy that happens in one hour," Choucair said.

Laughter to give refugees a voice

The travelling clown project is called Van12 and was created in collaboration with UNICEF. Lamaa, a Syrian refugee, said, "The show was good for children, and I hope we can apply its messages." She said the performance taught her that "children must go to school, they have their full rights and must not go to work."

The artists try to gather the refugees' stories. "We try to let their voices be heard, because we think that this is one of the biggest crises happening in the world right now and at least we should be doing something," Choucair said.

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