Expressing and Promoting Culture through Art of Circus

Ethiopian National Circus Association (ENCA) Consortium,, +251911712640
This measure was reported by civil society.
Describe the main features of the measure/initiative: 
Ethiopia National Circus Association (ENCA) was established with one of the major objectives of creating a resilient cultural sector in Ethiopia and promoting the diverse and rich culture of the Ethiopian people to the rest of the world through astonishing circus performances. All corners of the world have been reached by a number of young circus troupes and they proudly showed their unique and colorful culture to the international audiences. Now a day the Ethiopian circus art has added a special taste to the current world’s contemporary circus art development. The Ethiopian circus uniqueness comes from using traditional music as background, traditional dance, and choreography, typical Ethiopian costume, with a taste of Ethiopian tradition and culture ways of production. Ethiopia has more than 86 Ethnic groups with their own identity: such as typical language, music, dances, myths, costumes, norms, different public holidays, cultural practices (such as weddings, mourning, celebration, etc.), ritual practices, and cultural experiences in general. This deep rooted and divers background is an asset for the culture sector in Ethiopia and these are a medium brings an opportunity for Ethiopian circuses to promote Ethiopian culture in different circus festivals and cultural venues throughout the world. The artistic skill of the young Ethiopian circus artists become high standard and competitive. This brought the sector into the international markets too. In the last 4 years, the Ethiopian circus groups performed over 5,000 shows all over the world at international festivals, Cirque du Soleil, international circus award programs, cruise ships, and TV programs. This opportunity brought wide diverse experiences for the artists, managers, directors, and trainers of the circus groups. Ethiopian circus artists also share to different country’s circus artists their best experiences and cultural values and practices. The circus is not only the means to promote the culture of Ethiopia people to the rest of the world and a means of income for a large number of unemployed youth in the country but also it is a way for all young circus artists to taste, enjoy and started practice their culture proudly and helped them a lot to know the cultural practices of their ancestors/forefathers and for being confident enough about themselves. Therefore, the circus is one of the best arts that saving and maintains the Ethiopians’ culture in the globalization and to keep shining. Before the establishment of the ENCA all the circus groups in Ethiopia have been struggling to sustain the development of circus and promote the culture of the country in Africa and in the rest of the world. But, it could not bring changes rather the situation became worsen from time to time. Therefore, the establishment of ENCA became very crucial for the development and visibility of circus art in Ethiopia. The establishment of ENCA became realized by 5 regions and 2 city administration circus associations and it brings hope for all the members and gave the power to influence the policymakers of the country to recognize circus as one of the important cultural sector in the country. Not only have these but credits been given for the circus sector for promoting the Ethiopian culture in different parts of the world.
What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the measure/initiative?: 
- For the culture promotion, influence and impact it has on art development for long years in the country. The government declared that circus art to be considered as one of the cultural sector and recognition is given for the role it played from the EFDR Ministry of Culture and Tourism. - The initiative created job opportunities for 588 youths in the country and among these 341 are females. - A number of experience sharing and knowledge transfer events were organized for artists, directors, technicians, and trainers by different international circus art professionals here in Ethiopia and abroad. - Cultural promotion has been made for the rest of the world in over 5,000 stages ( Performance venues, TV shows, festivals, etc) - International recognition from different Media including, BBC, CNN, New York Times, Al Jazeera, CCTV, and Washington Post. - Acceptance by the international circus industry for the artistic level of performance and cultural diversity approach is implemented. - Circus groups in Ethiopia are practically inclusive. A number of children with disabilities were equally welcomed and actively participated. One young deaf girl tour all around Europe with the rest of her colleagues without any discrimination and change the livelihood of herself and her parents. - Circus practically ensured in the last four years artistic freedom for the circus artists and circus directors in Ethiopia.
Goal(s) of UNESCO's 2005 Convention
Cultural Domain(s)
Performing Arts
Transversal Priority(ies)