by Jo Wilding - £8.99 New Internationalist Publications (2006)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781904456483 | ISBN 10: 1904456480
'Don't shoot the clowns!' As a circus performer in a war zone these are the fist words you need to know in English and Arabic, especially if you are trying to help wounded civilians in a city under siege.
Don't Shoot the Clowns is Jo Wilding's account of living with Iraqi people during the war and its aftermath. She tells what daily life is really like in a country coping with invasion and occupation, and how she and a hastily recruited troupe of circus performers brought clowns, laughter and some moments of respite to the children of Iraq.
As a human rights observer, Jo Wilding, a young British lawyer and solidarity activist, witnessed and recorded in her blog some of the worst atrocities committed against ordinary people. Out of the trauma grew the circus, travelling around the squatter camps, schools and orphanages, putting light and hope back into people's lives. 'I want to thank you for coming,' said one observer. 'This is the first time since the war that I have seen the children laugh this way, from their insides.'
In simply playing with children, helping where possible and instinctively recording events, Jo Wilding provides a unique and independent perspective. Her daily accounts have an immediacy and accuracy that brings the scenes sharply into focus. From the shocking, painful stories of the siege of Falluja - where, for a day and a night, she was taken prisoner - to the crowds of mesmerized children, every episode vividly describes life in Iraq.
Jo Wilding is a lawyer working in London, Her weblog from Iraq was read all over the world during the war and the ensuing occupation. She was one of the 1,000 women worldwide jointly nominated for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize.
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In booklists: Iraq, Experiences of War - Civilians, Actors and Actresses, Women in the Middle East, Theatre, Film, Politics and Activism, Theatre, Women's Activism, Women and War & Peace, Women in Theatre, TV, Film and Radio, Children and War, In categories: World - Middle East, Peace & Human Rights, History & Biography, Music & Performing Arts, Feminism & Women, Politics & Philosophy, Changing the World, Media & Culture, Children & Young People,