Travelling Family Circus

Son of Man Community, Sanyi, Taiwan and Dream Community, Taipei, Taiwan, 2016

In 2015/16 I traveled around the world for a year with my family, my husband, the artist David Reuter and my two children, Nelio and Liam Reuter. We called this travel project “utopian travels” and faced the self-imposed challenge to explore the world in search of more unity of art, life, children and family, the art of exploring the world or exploring the world through art. For one year we took a break from our Berlin life to see what there is to be discovered for us.

From January to April 2016, together with the artist Adam Ende and his son Lingling Endelin, we spent three months at the Son of Man Community in Sanyi, Taiwan. This is a group of 40 people, that dropped out of Society, mainly Taiwanese and from Hong Kong, aged between 0 and 90, who have been living in that way in Taiwan for more than 25 years. They have bought a piece of land near Sanyi, in the district of Miaoli, which they cultivate and inhabit together. All children of the community are home-schooled. The Communards do not call themselves artists, but they process many of their experiences and insights through self-composed songs which they perform in public.

They have been looking for an expansion of their performative skills. We were asked to help them to explore new and different forms of performance. Together we created two short plays. “Waterdrops”, which reflects on the story of the circulation of water and “The Farmer”, a kind of parable about the history of the community. Together with Adam Ende, an expert in masks and puppetry, we created masks and costumes, we built stilts and all the children learnt stiltwalking. We spontaneously performed in public places, in the surrounding schools and at the Dream Community in Taipei.

We developed two different “floats” for the Dream Community parades that took place at that time and participated in the Dream Parades in Kaohsiung and Pingtung.