University of Limerick, Ireland; Galway Community Circus, Ireland
Bio: Stephen Cadwell was awarded a PhD in the philosophy of art by University College Dublin in 2011; his dissertation centered on indiscernibility and identification in modern art. Since then, his focus has shifted to the effectiveness and impact of youth and social circus and his methodology now includes interviews, self-reporting and statistical analysis. Using this approach, he has completed his post-doctoral research at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick as part of Circus+, an ERASMUS funded youth and social circus research project.
Title: Identify, Embrace, Adapt: Trusting the Other in Youth and Social Circus
Abstract: This presentation will consider the Others of youth and social circus, offer a conceptual framework designed to assist practitioners reflect on their own context and provide a means for them to include those Others, should they wish to do so.
The inspiration for this talk comes from two distinct sources; firstly, my observation and analysis of the practice of youth and social circus in a variety of organizations, in particular the Galway Community Circus in Ireland and the Mobile Mini Circus for Children in Afghanistan. Secondly, this talk is also derived from my research into Hegelian philosophy and Circus Studies, especially Hegel’s dialectic method of identification, a secular reading of Levinas’ theory of hospitality and Bolton’s concept of adaptability in youth circus.
By bringing these sources together, the paper highlights the importance of Others in a youth circus’ social and political context, emphasizes the importance of inclusion for youth circus and finally discusses the intrinsic importance of adaptability to the practice of youth and social circus.