That’s it. After 40 shows to 7000 kids and 20 workshops teaching circus skills – the 2007 Boomchucka circus tour has ended. Relief (it had been very hard work) is mixed with great sadness – we have only done so little. There is also hope, because during our time in the West Bank we have met many people who are actively working to ensure a healthy future for circus in Palestine. To mention only a few: The Palestinian Circus School in Ramallah, The Freedom Theatre in Jenin, The Children of Bethany in East Jerusalem and Shirra Circus in Bethlehem.
As for hope for a resolution to the deteriorating conditions of the Palestinian people – well that’s harded to find. Perhaps one has to look either to the small but growing number of activists within Israel who are beginning to question they government over its actions or the residents of Bil’in who continue their nonviolent protests. But maybe we have to go further afield to the US, where the publication by President Jimmy Carter of Palestine: Peace not Apartheid has (in my opinion) helpfully added the concept of Apartheid into the debate. Or perhaps to the UK where a recent commons select committee has questioned the EU preferential trade deal despite Israel’s continual breaking of conditions.
Hope is sometimes a rare thing; it must be nurtured for it to blossom into peace and freedom. One must by continually vigilant to water and feed what hope we can find.