Social Circus refers to the growing movement toward the use of circus arts as mediums for social justice and social good. It uses alternative pedagogical tools to work with individuals and groups who are marginalized or at social or personal risk.
Through the dynamic approach of art-based education, the “Social Circus” seeks to expand the opportunities of and teach valuable skills to marginalized youth. The Social Circus “recognizes and values the role of art and culture as powerful agents in the education of at-risk youth, producing knowledge, and promoting the interchange of ideas and experiences, impacting (Brazilian) society and the public organizations responsible for youth education.”
With rigorous training, interpersonal dialogue and expression, and the acquisition of goals through dedication, the social circus has the ability to alter the lives of at-risk youth. Autonomy, solidarity, self-esteem, physical-fitness, communication, and adaptability are some of the skills learned and practiced.
While a career in the circus is one possible future to the youth who participate in the social circus, it is not the purpose. Rather, the objective it to increase self-awareness, individuality and collective unity, self-discipline and many other values through a pedagogical alternative in order to transform the vision and capabilities of at-risk youth.