Colombia: Little Big Top by Paul Smith

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Luisa Fernanda (stage name Yasuri, centre top) braids the hair of her sister as the circus owner's children look on next to a plate of apples at the Jhon Danyer Circus. Luisa and Karin have been adopted by the circus owner after they were left virtually abandoned. Luisa performs as a contortionist, does aerial displays and also sells snacks to the audience before and during the performance. Around a dozen small circuses wander the poorer neighbourhoods around the city of Medellin putting on performances in what can be a hand to mouth existence. Despite falling audience numbers, new health and safety regulations and other bureaucracy these small family businesses, many of whom have existed for generations, still scrape a living in a world where the people are more accustomed to being entertained by soap operas than by live entertainment.