Emergency Smile

People seek new hope in their moments of greatest need. Not only patients in hospitals or social institutions can be helped by the power of humour and acquire new courage and optimism. Also in war and devastation zones, where people have lost everything, laughter can be one of the greatest wonders and a gift following the provision of basic needs.

In cooperation with international humanitarian organisations, RED NOSES has visited people affected by the Kosovo War (1999) and the earthquakes in New Zealand (2011, 2012), people in the autonomous Palestinian territories (since 2012), in Akonolinga, Cameroon (2013), and also people affected by the flooding in the Balkans (2014), Syrian refugees in Jordan (2014), internally displaced persons in the Ukraine (2015) and refugees in Austria and Germany (2015).

The clown personage can help people who have lost everything rediscover their innate sense of humour. In experiental theatre workshops lasting several days, they work with RED NOSES clowns, tanking up on optimism and playfully developing strategies for coping with their situation and their future.

The first official engagement led the RED NOSES EMERGENCY SMILE team to Akonolinga, Cameroon:


Emergency Smile Visits

January 2015

Amina, a syrian girl

October 2014

Syrian refugees in Jordan






Reinhard Horstkotte,
Artistic Director of RED NOSES in Germany

reports from his visits in Nieu Bethesda, South Africa:

A clown workshop for people who live in townships - what an idea! Township here means draughty huts, no running water, poverty, alcoholism and abuse. It also means white South Africans, who officially still own the land, discriminating against the local township inhabitants. Does this make sense?..."




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