The Art of Clowning and the Art of Youth Work with Pedro Fabião, season 2, episode 13

Hello dear listeners,

In this episode we talked with Pedro Fabião, an international clown, actor, director, trainer, and psychologist.

​He directed the biggest professional clown organisation in Portugal (, where he worked for 16 years.

The conversation was about the Art of Clowning and how it can help people develop empathy and self-awareness.

Clowns have had a function throughout the ages, as those that push the boundaries, that bring a different perspective. Their power is a counter power.

As Pedro pointed out during our conversation there is loads of diversity in the type of people that go to clowning workshops. It’s a wonderful tool to explore our creativity, to connect with our bodies, and mostly: to connect with others.

The principles of clowning can be useful in creating a “transitional field”, a place without real consequence and yet inscribed in reality. A reversible moment of exploration and endless possibilities. Clowns are experts in making mistakes, looking foolish or messing things up, but with the deeper wisdom of turning shortcomings into a celebration of humanity. So how we relate to failing can be helped by exploring our own clowns and creating physical and emotional safety for others to explore theirs.

Youth workers can engage with young people using this space where the boundaries of reality are expanded. Together, they can see further and deeper without getting overwhelmed or depressed by limitations, anything is possible outside the normal, failure is celebrated and that’s where the Art of Clowning can help.


Pedro Fabião website |



“Do That Funny Thing You Do” by Tara Brodin |

Facebook group with clown resources |

Developing Youth Work Innovation eHandbook |