About The Metamodern Circus

Free tickets are now available for The Metamodern Circus, a one-day event taking place in Cardiff on Friday 26th May. Aimed at creative practitioners, cultural scholars, and interested members of the public, this symposium will be an introduction to and exploration of the intersecting facets of circus and metamodernism.

What is metamodernism?

The heyday of postmodernity is over. But what’s next? How should we understand the social condition that we’re in? Metamodernism is a term that aims to describe our contemporary condition: an age defined by the internet, reinvigorated fanaticism and a new sincerity, among other things. Essentially, metamodernism combines postmodern scepticism with the frenetic vigour of modernism.

This applies to our daily lives, as we are influenced by and contribute to the world that we inhabit. Notice, for example, the disarming quirkiness in films by Wes Anderson and series like The Office (US); or the positive embrace of our cringeworthy side on social media. These phenomena show how we don't have to choose between an attitude of ironic distance or a blissfully ignorant state of sincerity. What makes metamodernism so powerful and applicable, then, is the way in which it allows us to engage critically with the world without succumbing to cynicism.

In much of the Western world, circus hit the peak of public recognition in the modernist era of the twentieth century. Since the 1990s, experiments in ‘contemporary circus’ have embraced the postmodern. Remembering the possibility of a metamodern condition beyond postmodernity, we are compelled to ask: what does this mean in the realm of circus? 

The Metamodern Circus

Inspired by this relatively uncharted territory, we present our mini-festival, bringing together circus practitioners and scholars of metamodern phenomena to explore how the two perspectives intersect. We invite anyone with an interest in arts, culture and philosophy to join us in deepening our understanding of the times we’re living in. The day will include keynote talks, performance and roundtable discussions, as well as some fun activity to keep us in the spirit of the event. The final part of the day is dedicated to a built-in workshop to develop a shared document that reflects on our learning and questioning from the day. This will be published and shared with our wider communities of practice and scholarship. 

Join the conversation

When? Friday 26th May 2023.
Where? NoFit State Community Circus, Cardiff (UK).
How do I get my free tickets? Here are your free tickets! 
All welcome! The event will be presented in English.

Funded by the AHRC South West and Wales Doctoral Training Programme, the ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Programme, and the Doctoral Academy of Cardiff University. In partnership with The Circus Diaries.

Graphic design by Anke Verbeek & Thom Hamer