What's up CircusInfo Finland?

Janis Laucenieks

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Source: @moomincomics Instagram

I imagine what would happen if one day Latvia would take part in the iconic makeover reality show, Queer Eye. It would probably end up looking like Finland – clean streets, new public transit infrastructure, people with different skin colour, rock on diversity! Still, even though Finns are some steps ahead there are a lot of familiar patterns, such as food, mentalities, etc., that people share at the shores of the Baltic Sea.

 

When it comes to the circus, for them the milestone has been the youth circus that was given the fruitful soil for the audience development and political lobbying. Later the development of contemporary circus led also to establishing CircusInfo Finland. It supports the artistic and cultural development of Finnish circus art through its strong networks, promotional activities and mentoring. 

As one of eight info centres (so far) in Finland, it makes it clear to me that circus is a recognised art field for the state and it is important for policymakers to continue to invest into this field. 

 

From the late 1990s circus education has grown from nothing to the point where it now covers all levels of education, from extra-curricular to further education. In many other countries circus education is provided outside of the state’s official education system, like youth circus or circus centres. In Finland, the development of training has made circus a part of the state’s art and education administration. The rapid development of circus education in Finland has increased the number of professional artists.

There are around 300 professional circus artists and teachers working in the field. Most of the circus professionals hold a degree from one of the schools providing circus education. However, there are many circus artists that do not have a formal education within the field in Finland, because the formal circus education is still in development. Most of the circus professionals are engaged in artistic work or are pedagogues in youth circuses around the country.

There are more than 20 professional circus companies in Finland. The internationally best-known contemporary circus groups are the country’s oldest company Circo Aereo and WHS. The Race Horse Company is an example of the next circus generation’s breakthrough. Other contemporary circus companies include Circo Aereo, Race Horse Company, Taiteilijayhdistys Hiljaisuus, WHS, Agit-Cirk, Blind Gut Company, Ilmatila, Kallo Collective, Piste Kollektiivi, Nuua, Sirkus Aikamoinen, Sirkus Supiainen, Zero Gravity Company. Some of the contemporary circus companies operate with governmental support and some without it.

 

This gives a lot to consider, from the point of view of an established infrastructure for an art field and its importance in the field’s vitality, empowerment, and growth. More thoughts on this in a future post!

Stay tuned!

Published on: 2. December 2020

NHLP has been made possible with the support of Nordisk Kulturfond and Nordic culture Point, Nordic Council of Ministers, and Lund Municipality