The Balkans 2004
Clowns Yvette Feuer and Bruce Macphail traveled for two and a half weeks in Serbia, Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina doing a total of 27 shows and 16 workshops and reaching just under 2000 children.
We decided to put together this trip to the Balkans in the Spring 2004 and it took 5 months between the time we decided to go and the completion of the trip. Crucial financial support came from the Merdith Russell Travel Grant from Sarah Lawrence College which covered the expenses and the equipment. We are also indebted to support from family and friends to make this expedition possible. For two and a half weeks we did shows and workshops in various locations including schools, orphanages, mentally handicapped homes and refugee settlements.
Our motto during our stay became: less military, more clowns. It is strange how one becomes used to seeing to the military presence. There are still plenty of places full of post-traumatic stress disorder and shell shock that could really use a visit by the clowns.
The presence of clowns in Kosova was, is and will be an asset to generating a positive environment for the children and their parents. The longterm project in Gjakova, the first in PSF history, is a very strong new direction for PSF in finding ways to relieve the psychological tensions that stem from conflict. One wonders when and if humanity will ever find a way to create harmony on the planet. For the moment it seems like a far fetched dream. Yet I have no doubt that pushing toward light and laughter remains the best pathway available, bringing humor to the forefront of the moment.