visits refugees
in Vienna


VIENNA 23.03.2016 – This past week RED NOSES International hosted two clown doctors from its partner organisation in Palestine. Their trip focused on continued professional development, cross-cultural exchange, as well as joyful visits with fellow clowns from RED NOSES Austria. One particular highlight for the international clown team was their time at a transit accommodation for refugees in Vienna.

Around 530 adults and approximately 120 children are currently housed at Vordere Zollamtsstrasse, a temporary residence for migrants operated by the Austrian RED CROSS. The two clowns from RED NOSES Palestine, Daoud Totah and his colleague Ezzat Natsheh, partnered with two colleagues from RED NOSES Austria to build the anticipation for the event. All the residents were curious to see what the clowns would do and gathered round close. Laughter and glee soon followed; from both children and adults alike.

Thanks to their professional training and their expertise in clowning techniques, the clowns are able to work together without necessarily sharing a common language. "Our dramaturgy follows certain principles which work beautifully without any language at all. We can begin our performance right away. Our audiences, whether they’re refugees or patients, immediately laugh along with us," explains Daoud Totah, an experienced actor from the Palestinian territories.

Music immediately breaks the ice. Arabic tunes and fun filled dancing steps inspired by the clowns encourage the children to laugh, jump and clap along. Through slapstick humour, the clowns show how much fun failure can actually be, and that getting back up again and continuing on is really a personal strength. "It breaks my heart to see so many refugees from my culture, but I’m pleased to have the opportunity to give something back," added Ezzat Natsheh, in reaction to the warm welcome he received at Vordere Zollamtsstrasse.

RED NOSES International conducts intercultural exchanges, workshops and regular clown visits for RED NOSES Palestine and its other national partner organisations thanks in part to the financial support provided by the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC)


RED NOSES: Austrian roots, global demand

By combining scientific knowledge with artistic experience, RED NOSES International, through its professional clowns, brings a full range of audiences, in hospitals and social institutions, amusement and joy.

RED NOSES is active in 675 medical and social facilities in 10 countries: beginning in Austria, other successful partner organisations were formed in Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Poland, Palestine and Lithuania. In 2015 alone, a total of 326 RED NOSES clowns brought psychosocial support to approximately 708,000 people.


The Austrian Development Cooperation

The Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) supports countries in Africa, Asia, South Eastern and Eastern Europe as well as the Caribbean in their sustainable social, economic and democratic development.

Nationally, the ADC, encourages a broader understanding of development cooperation in relation to an interdependent world. Their development policies are promoted through a systematic and coherent public relations and communications strategy.

The Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs plans the strategies. The Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the operational unit of Austrian Development Cooperation, implements programmes and projects together with public institutions, civil society organisations as well as enterprises.

For further inquiries:

Zach Kornell - Public Relations
RED NOSES Clowndoctors International

Wattgasse 48, A-1170 Vienna
T: +43 699-111 75 081 (37)


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