Many famous circus and street theatre companies seem fond of including the word State into their names...Welfare State International, No Fit State Circus, the Russian and Chinese State Circus, and now even the Tollcross State Circus in Edinburgh.
The idea for an Independent State of Happiness came to me when attending Street Theatre development workshops with Spraoi, one of Ireland's leading street spectacle companies, in Waterford, South-East Ireland back around 2005... I thought it was a great idea for a rather monumental piece of street theatre..and so the title was born... with the content below arriving as Ireland teetered on the edge of economic oblivion... Independent State of Happiness also sums up for me that feeling you get if you're lucky enough to have been immersed in an amazing street spectacle or festival context, where the everyday becomes extraordinary and your local area is reimagined as some space of wondrous silliness, music, food and happiness, where you wander anew in streets cleared of cars and opened up for pedestrians and professional artists and entertainers to beguile and send a smile swinging your way... Be it yet small and short-lived sometimes, that independent state of happiness is what I aspire to create in my work...
Just to be clear though, the name Independent State of Happiness has absolutely nothing to do with any aspect whatsoever of Scotland's independence issue, now nor at any stage since I set this website up around 2006... when I was still living in Dublin and had no idea I would end up in Scotland in another 7 years' time... with a website name that would end up being a whole lot more topical than I'd ever imagined. If you look at the top of this website or, get hold of one of my pamphlets or see me in a workshop with my work t-shirt on, you'll also note the words 'It's a state of mind' written in bright blue graffiti in the right hand corner of my logo, which I hope clears the issue up pretty succinctly.
In the meantime however, why not establish an Independent State of Happiness for a couple of hours in your local area? Contact me for further details... but we'll need a 3m x 3m area and provide our own Entry Officer (and much more!) to welcome people to the newly-established State.
One fine day..I really am going to set up an Independent State of Happiness in the checkout queue at Aldi..or the dole queue.. or somewhere that dark, cold day in January when we all get our credit card bills....
© Ariel Killick 2014
™ Stàt Neo-Eisimeileach Sonais / Independent State of Happiness It's a State of Mind