Nano Circus: the amazing experience of arts & science

January 29, 2024

Last Friday evening, INL hosted the Nano Circus, an extraordinary event that combined nanotechnology and circus arts, in a dazzling show of creativity and collaboration. Nano Circus showcased the culmination of a transformative artistic residency by the Equilibrium Social Circus team at INL.

The Director General of INL Professor Clivia Sotomayor, took the stage to officially inaugurate the celebration, emphasising INL’s commitment to making the wonders of nanotechnology accessible to diverse communities.

In July, the Equilibrium Social Circus team was invited to visit INL for an exciting artistic residency, fostering the exchange of knowledge. Sara Leite, project coordinator at Projecto Homem, gave a few words before the show “Equilibrium Social Circus is a social project dedicated to preventing behavioural issues in adolescence through Social Circus, an innovative approach merging circus arts and social intervention to act as a catalyst for psychosocial transformation”.

These students weren’t passive observers – they were the architects of the Nano Circus. With guidance from their mentor Rodolfo Correia, they explored INL’s laboratories, delving into the microscopic world of nanotechnology and interacting with scientists. INL researchers Adriana Carneiro, Andrea Gouvêa, José Loché, and Duarte Mota, shared their scientific expertise, and the Equilibrium Social Circus team shared some circus skills, breaking barriers between science and creativity.

After the residency at INL, the students conceptualised and crafted a circus show inspired by their newfound knowledge of nanotechnology. This fusion of science and art became the heart of the Nano Circus, an evidence of the positive impact of education and collaboration.

The show featured 23 students, from different schools in Vila Nova de Famalicão and Braga, who took to the stage to reveal their creation, captivating the audience with a performance that blended circus arts with science. Rodolfo Correia, the guiding force behind Nano Circus, stood proudly beside his students as they showcased the results of their hard work and commitment.

Carla Sepúlveda, representing the Education, Innovation, and Social Inclusion Office of the Municipality of Braga, supported this project from the beginning. She expressed, “Nano Circus is a project developed in collaboration with the municipality of Braga, aligning with the spirit of International Education Day celebrated on January 24th. This fusion between INL and Equilibrium Social Circus exemplifies an education that aims to be increasingly inclusive and open to the community at large.”

As the curtains fell on the performance, Nano Circus, a celebration of innovation, education, and community, left an unforgettable mark, showcasing the potential for transformative experiences when science and art converge.

INL researchers and the Equilibrium Social Circus at INL, July 2023:

Text by: Catarina Moura, Science Communication Officer
Photography by: Patrícia BarrosoCommunication, Conferences & Marketing Officer, & edited by Gina Palha