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A Journey through Aesthetic Realms

L’Écocirque: 100% Human Circus – Interview with André-Joseph Bouglione, Part 1 of 3

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The Bouglione family is one of the most famous circus families in France. The Bouglione brothers have owned and directed Cirque d'Hiver in Paris since 1934. André-Joseph Bouglione created his own circus at the young age of 18 and named it the Joseph Bouglione Circus in honor of his grandfather, Joseph Bouglione. Realizing the cruelty of using live animals in the shows, in 2017 André-Joseph Bouglione decided to stop the inhumane practice and, together with his wife Sandrine Bouglione, he created L’Écocirque, a pioneering 100% human circus which replaces live animals with holograms. In 2018, André-Joseph Bouglione launched his book, “Against Animal Exploitation” (“Contre l'exploitation animale”), which shook up the circus world. André-Joseph proposes a new model for an eco-responsible circus, reinventing the profession and no longer accepting entertainment at the expense of the animals, whose freedom and wellbeing have been sacrificed by the industry for centuries. It is our great pleasure to have André-Joseph Bouglione with us today to share his story. “It was from living constantly with animals and from reflecting, working with them every day. And you know the animals: they live, they die, just like us! Except that, in their case, it happens much more frequently. Because their lifespan is shorter. With some animals, we developed a very strong relationship. You see them grow old and you see them die one day. Personally, I had an experience with a tiger that had a big impact on me.” “I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t do it anymore, be it mentally, physically, morally. I would act, I would do things, I would go into the cage, I would introduce the wild animals, I would come out, I would pretend to laugh. Upon leaving, I felt devastated every time. I was forcing myself. Because I couldn’t figure out how to get out of it. And, most of all, I couldn’t face the public.”
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