In this project, Acting for Climate (Norway) is joining forces with Festival Sismògraf – OlotCultura (Spain), Pepe Arts (Germany), and DYNAMO Workspace for Circus and Performing Arts (Denmark) to bring the forest performance BARK on tour to Catalonia, Germany, and Denmark, and set new standards of sustainability (and improve them along the way) and experiment with how art can continue to be a catalyst of change. The partnership explores how international touring can be made sustainable in terms of ecology, remuneration, and mental and physical health, and what is actually required to rethink the existing structures.
In a scene where programming favours men, BARK is a forest-specific circus performance with a majority female cast that deals with climate change, and invites the audience to physically connect with the forest. The partnership is emphasising social, physical, and financial sustainability throughout their entire tour across Europe using bikes and trains as much as possible.
A major part of sustainable touring for Bark is the well-being of artists. Circus artists are used to performing while injured, simply because they often have no other choice. Not only must the show go on, but they are also often dependent on carrying on for financial reasons. The partnership is ensuring that tour planning happens and is implemented in a way that takes the physical and mental health of the artists and crew into account, and they will gather and share best practices from what they’ve learned.
Having more time in each place to create deeper connections, planning the tour with the time to travel by land in mind, and aiming for fair wages for the artists, including the preparations; these are all elements that come into play for BARK when making new norms of sustainability.
All the performances are free, and one presentation will be filmed, recorded and live streamed to ensure a wider visibility of the partnership and to make the presentations accessible to all.