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ECA Statement about the war in Ukraine

As a performing art form, the circus has always brought peoples together and transcends not only national, but also linguistic and aesthetic borders. All people have always been able to find a place in the circus, regardless of origin, skin color, nationality, gender, sexual orientation or religion, and the circus thus contributes to understanding between cultures.

With its entertaining and joy-giving nature, there are no winners or losers in the circus, but values such as tolerance, respect and solidarity are the focus of the experience. The circus thus stands for a colorful, lively and community-building society, for peaceful, communal coexistence and, above all, for freedom.

The European Circus Association condemns all forms of war and all forms of violence! We call on those responsible to end the senseless war in Ukraine immediately. It brings only death and destruction.

This senseless war in Ukraine is also destroying a centuries-old circus tradition. In addition to circuses that travel across the country, there are permanent circus buildings in several Ukrainian cities, where the circus plays regularly. In addition, Ukraine is the country with a very high concentration of circus schools in Europe and the training there enjoys highest reputation in the industry. Artists from Ukraine are among the stars of international circus shows and festivals. The State Circus of Ukraine as well as the National Circus in Kiev both are members of the European Circus Association and need our support. Russian state circuses are no longer members of the European Circus Association.

The European Circus Association is supporting all efforts to save the lives of Ukrainian circus artists and students of the Ukrainian circus schools and studios. We thank all circuses which are already providing safe places for artists and musicians and their families who are fleeing from the Ukraine and urge all others to follow these examples. We support the initiatives to help circus students and their trainers to leave the country and find peace and security at circus schools in West Europe.

At the same time, we support the circus and the circus people who are still in Ukraine.  The European Circus Association, in cooperation with the Fédération Mondiale du Cirque has already transferred a significant donation to the circus and the circus school in Kiev.  We call on all circuses to make such donations too and to use World Circus Day on 16th April 2022 for fundraising events dedicated to the circuses and circus schools in Ukraine. ECA will take care of transferring donations to trustworthy partners in Ukraine.