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uni'wissen 1-2013_ENG

When Lipphardt arrived at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in 2008, her goal was to work on her research project on small traveling circus­ es. “When I presented the project, a lot of people came to me and told me how closely the topic affected them. I didn’t understand that at first,” she says. The lives of artists at the academy in Stuttgart initially seemed to her to be too far removed from the world of circus families – until she realized that the actors and painters were able to identify with the perpetual state of flux that characterizes the daily lives of circus performers. Fascinating and Captivating For small­scale traveling circuses, which were founded in the late 19th century and make up a large part of the circus companies active today in Germany, mobility is and always has been a basic precondition for their work: “It’s the only way they can play the same repertoire in front of a different audience, week in, week out.” They are often made up of a single extended family that moves from place to place together and has to adapt to new living circumstances again and again. “The circus lives off a staging of the for­ eign, the exotic,” says Lipphardt. That’s what makes it fascinating and at the same time capti­ vating for most people. However, it’s getting harder and harder to find sites to set up camp and erect a tent: “It isn’t just about being on the road but also about the question: Who is allowed to stay where and when?” It is often uncertain whether water supply and waste disposal will be available – and classical integration policies are not effective, because the circus is constantly on the move. “It’s an area in which no one has juris­ diction,” says Lipphardt, “Germany offers rela­ tively few solutions for professional milieus or social groups that are permanently mobile.” This is particularly evident in the case of education: “Children from circus families have no adequate access to school education, and their chances on the job market are worsening.” The only Ger­ man state with an educational project for circus children is North Rhine­Westphalia. Originally Dr. Anna Lipphardt has served as junior professor of cultural studies at the Institute of European Eth- nology of the University of Freiburg since 2011. She studied political science, Baltic studies, and Jewish studies in Lithuania, Ger- many, and the USA and earned her master’s in Jewish studies from the University of Chicago, USA, in 1999. In 2006 she com- pleted her dissertation on transnational history of memory of the Jews from Vilnius, Lithuania, after the Holocaust. She then worked at the Centre Marc Bloch in Berlin and the University of Constance. Migration and mobility research is one of her primary research interests. Photo: private Further Reading Cresswell, T. (2006): On the move. Mobility in the modern Western world. New York/London. Lipphardt, A. (2012): Artists on the move. Theo­ retical perspectives, empirical implications. In: Internationale Gesellschaft der Bildenden Künste/ Hollywood, A./Schmid, A. (Eds.) (2012): Artists in transit. How to become an artist in residence. Berlin, pp. 109–122. Lipphardt, A. (2008): Spielraum des Globalen. Deutschland und der Zirkus. In: Reichardt, U. (Hrsg.) (2008): Die Vermessung der Globalisier­ ung. Kulturwissenschaftliche Perspektiven. Heidelberg, pp. 159–178 (= American Studies 162). initiated by the Protestant Church, the project combines on­site teaching phases and distance learning coordinated by the same teachers. Lipphardt is planning a project with an artist friend of hers in which circus children will be asked to photograph their daily lives on the road – as a starting point for interviews: “How do you perceive your world? How does family life func­ tion in a limited space and without the benefit of having a circle of friends around? What strate­ gies do you use to settle conflicts in your group or with the people who live where you’re stay­ ing?” If she can find the time, she would like to accompany a traveling circus – for an entire season. Anna Lipphardt also has first­hand experience with the charms and pains of a life on the road from her own life as a mobile academic. As an example, she cites the period after she complet­ ed her doctoral dissertation: “My official resi­ dence was in Berlin, but I had a job in Constance and a scholarship in Stuttgart. It felt like I spent most of my time on the train – and that is nothing unusual for postdocs.” 7