Saturday, April 29, 2017

From slavery to circus *

Circus Kathmandu comprises 13 professional artists who also undertake teacher-training and outreach in local communities in addition to their own professional development. —Photos courtesy circuskathmandu.com

Acrobatic skill displayed by the troupe

An aerial performance


As a little girl, Doli from Nepal found it hard to resist the thrill of the circus, its breathtaking acts, daring performers and dazzling costumes.

When scouts came looking for children to join the big tops in India, she was captivated.

“The circus sounded like a magical place, so I wanted to go, too,” she recalls in a teaser for a documentary about Nepal's first and only circus, made up of rescued victims of human trafficking.

For decades, Nepali children have been targeted by circus scouts from India where the spectacle, which has been dying in many other countries, still draws crowds.

Often sold by their parents hoping to give them a better life or to escape poverty, many children in the most exploitative circuses are deprived of schooling, forced to learn punishing routines and beaten if they fail, activists say.

 

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