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It’s not a game – True stories and slight exaggerations

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  • Post published:18 January 2023
  • Post category:Non classé
Second illustration of the It’s not a game series. On the picture, two white hands hold nice espresso cups and discuss. There is a thought bubble of some acrobats performing a figure on the high wire: two people ride bicycles on the high wire, holding a perch between each other, and a third person is balancing on top of the perch. Person 1: ”How do you feel about some artists in your company being paid less than the other artists?” Person 2: ”You know, we have confidentiality clauses in our contracts. We do not discuss our salaries between each other. We respect each other as artists.” Person 1: ”but as you come from so many places in the world, the western artists probably end up being paid so much more?” Person 2: ”I guess so”
In the third illustration of the It’s not a game -series, there are two pictures. In one, a family is watching a person of color perform with the aerial hoop in colorful lights. The performer is wearing a small bikini as a costume. ”This is so objectifying” thinks the mother. ”So hot, but this is just trash entertainment” thinks the father. ”I want to become an acrobat” thinks the child. In the second picture, the same family is watching a naked white woman performing movements in a white light. ”This is so empowering” thinks the mother. ”So hot, interesting artistic proposition” thinks the father. ”I want to become an acrobat” thinks the child.
Good Skin, Bad Skin
Fourth illustration of the It’s not a game -series. In the first image there are two buttons to choose from. One says: ”Perform for 1 month for 7500 random people and rig up and down a circus tent 4 times for 3700€” and second button says ”Perform 1 time for 150 buisness owners for 3700€”. In the second image, a man is wiping sweat off his forehead as he doesn’t know which option to choose.
Modern day problems
In the fifth illustration of the It’s not a game -series, a white person discusses with a black person. Both stand in front of the circus tent, the black person has a fighting dog with him. White person asks: ”do you like to work here?”. Black person answers: ”They don’t pay me well, and they don’t speak nicely to me, but at least they don’t harm me since I have my dog.” ”Why do you stay?” asks the white person. ”I don’t have an european passport” replies the black person.
Man in circus
In the sixth illustration of the It’s not a game -series, there is a circus tent behind barriers. In front of the barriers two persors are manifesting against the circus with banners saying ”teach compassion, boycott the circus” and ”animal cruelty for profit” and ”animal suffering is not funny”. In the foreground, you can see 4 small dogs dressed in human clothing and sunglasses, a leather luxury brand bag, a gambling ticket for the horse race, and a fast food box.
Animal welfare
Seventh illustration of the It’s not a game -series. In the picture a bunch of people are sitting next to a table in the caravan camp next to a circus tent. One of them is on the phone. From the phone, someone is saying: ”Could you come without the caravans, just the tent? Our festival has more this - clean - aesthetic.”
Clean aesthetics
Eight illustration of the it’s not a game -series. In the picture an acrobat is doing movements in the forest, and her thoughts are visible in some thought bubbles. They read: If what we do is not considered as circus by the people who have it as their tradition, and we want to exclude all the behaviour we associate with traditional circus, like sexism and racism, somehow assuming these values would be built in the circus, why do we insist on calling our practice circus? To benefit from their audience?
Ninth illustration of the It’s not a game -series. Two people discuss while rigging up a circus tent. The first one is a contemporary circus artist, the second one from the traditional circus. ”What time do you usually play the show?” the first one asks. ”We don’t play the show. You folks play the show? It’s not a game” the second one answers
It’s not a game
Illustration number 10 of the It’s not a game series. On the left side, there are various examples on how the word ”circus” is often used by the press to describe something negative, messy, unruly and undesireable. On the right side, a person is pondering ”Just because some chefs pee in the soup pot does not make us close down every restaurant. I wonder if the traditional and contemporary restaurants are fighting so much about who is right?”.
It’s a circus

Comics drawn by Sade Kamppila in December 2021 during the freestanding university course ”Inclusion and exclusion in circus” at the circus department of SKH (former DOCH).