The brainchild of two trained psychologists from Colombia, Jennifer Alvarez Guerrero and Angelica Ramirez Castellanos, CREA shared the joy of clowning with Latin American migrants living in Perth. Many migrants experience emotional or financial hardship because they are on temporary visas and cannot access social safety nets such as Medicare, mental health support and income support. CREA’s Migration of Me workshops guided participants through clowning techniques and the many forms of artistic expression which could help them cope with the challenges of life in Australia, while at the same time uncovering their own clown persona.
With the support of mentors Mariana Atkins and Michelle Hall, CREA hosted workshops that addressed topics such as discovering the true motivations behind migrating to Australia, working with emotions and becoming aware of ‘social masks’ – the faces we put on for the external world. The group worked collaboratively on developing a final performance script, which portrayed the stories of migration of the 13 participants involved in the project.
A final artistic variette at King Street Arts Centre in February 2021 showcased the talents and newly acquired skills of the many new clowns in the group, who performed predominantly in Spanish to an audience of 85 people. Traditional Colombian food, a live Latin-American band and dancing inspired a joyous celebration of CREA’s achievements.