Twenty years of hooliganism – the good kind!
We Care – one of our four company values that are dear to us and that we try to live everywhere – also in St. Petersburg, where we support Upsala-Circus. Upsala is a self-proclaimed “hooligan circus” and a unique social project that grew out of individual initiative, creativity and German-Russian collaboration. Now it is celebrating its 20th anniversary and we say: congratulations!
What do street kids, German expats and circus in St. Petersburg have in common?
In 2000, German social pedagogy student Astrid Schorn was doing an internship in St. Petersburg when she met theatre director Larisa Afanasieva, who shared her idea of socially “rehabilitating” children and teenagers from disadvantaged backgrounds through performance arts. The first apprentices were “cast” in the streets of St. Petersburg and its underground stations, and so the “circus for hooligans” was born.
Upsala combines circus arts with social pedagogy. It stands for inclusion and integrates children and young adults from economically challenged families as well as people with disabilities into society. Some 100 young participants between 7 and 18 years old are currently involved in the project. The inclusivity and artistic excellence of Upsala-Circus have been recognised with many awards, the prestigious “Golden Mask” Russian theatre award among them in 2018.
Wintershall Dea Russia has been supporting Upsala-Circus as one of its most devoted sponsors since 2014. As a responsible corporate citizen, the company engages in fostering inclusion, diversity, social initiatives, education and Russian-German cooperation. Therefore, Upsala-Circus with its ideas and values is a perfect match for Wintershall Dea.
“Our support of the Upsala-Circus is a perfect match: social projects with a focus on supporting youth are the cornerstone of our social engagement wherever we operate. ‘We care’ is one pillar of our company’s identity and we are proud to be a partner of such a courageous and innovative project”, says Torsten Murin, Managing Director of Wintershall Dea Russia.
Throughout this autumn, Upsala-Circus is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a variety of different on- and offline events. Wintershall Dea’s employees congratulate them on this happy occasion in a video celebrating creativity, thinking outside the box and a healthy degree of rebellion that make the “hooligan circus” so special. Enjoy!