Clarion Call

Clarion Call is Lone Wolf Tribe’s (LWT) performance cycle exploring the legacy of warfare and the need for non-violence in our world. Through clowning, magic, pantomime and street based endurance performances lasting up to 3 days, Clarion Call's boldly yet silently exposes the greatest source of violence in our world- war and the military establishments that perpetuate it. 

LWT often collaborates with Veterans for Peace (VFP)  a non-profit educational and humanitarian organization of vets dedicated to increasing public awareness of the true costs of war.

 

 Clarion Call offers a meditative alternative to the military’s adventurous vision of war, which they hope to market to a new generation of combat soldiers. We do this by poetically transforming military iconography – particularly the practice of bayonet training-- which was “designed to undo socialization and eradicate the reluctance of human beings to kill each other,” says Richard Kohn, professor of military history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 

 “Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous - an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. But war is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering.”  The Dalai Lama

 

Centered around a large weather resistant banner depicting a bayonet training posture to engage (kill) the enemy, hang several human-sized, target “dummies” with bull’s eyes stitched to their chests; many more lie on the ground—ripped and torn. Sitting within this environment is a veteran character, symbolizing the enormous suffering from all wars. The dissonance of this utterly weary vet lost in his “thousand yard stare”, juxtaposed with the poster image (see work sample), speaks volumes without uttering a single word. This alone can last for hours/days as an art installation, whether inside a venue or on a city sidewalk.

Eventually, (while a VFP member gives a lecture), the veteran character begins sewing the target’s wounds. Offering kindness instead of continued aggression,  a cycle of violence is symbolically broken by transforming the paradigm from enemy to friend. 

Clarion Call counters the military’s advertised war glamour by providing a reality check about the astronomical suicide rate among veterans, the psychological trauma countless service men and women will be forced to deal with for the rest of their lives, and the devastating environmental and societal costs that come with institutionalized aggression.

 

CLARION CALL is LWT's radical street theatre series about the true costs of war.

Shared as a roving pantomime performance (lasting up to 3 days at a time in all types of weather) on city sidewalks, in public parks, parade marches and at military bases, our poetic message is: peace is possible-- we only have to choose it. 

Performed without a script or polemical bombast— CLARION CALL engages with random audiences completely in silence, taking a meditative performance approach embodying the maxim, “actions speak louder than words.”

Inspired by old-time “tramp” clowns Otto Griebling & Emmett Kelly as well as WW2 cartoonist, Bill Mauldin, who realistically portrayed the gritty reality of infantrymen,  LWT artistic director, Kevin Augustine embodies the “Hobo Grunt,” a hybrid character—part sad tattered clown, part weary homeless veteran.

Augustine’s portrayal is also influenced by Buddhist principles of compassion for all suffering beings as well as the suicide of his father—a Marine who took his own life when Kevin was 12 years old.


Symbolically Healing the Wounded

Honoring the clown’s pantomime tradition while also acknowledging a soldier’s directive to not question orders, the Hobo Grunt works entirely in silence and is the central link between all of the performance components in CLARION CALL

Supported by a two-year grant from the Jerome Foundation as well as the Puffin Foundation,  CLARION CALL has collaborated since 2012 with Veterans for PeaceBrooklyn for Peace and Grannies for Peace speaking out against the greatest source of violence in our world: war and the military establishments that perpetuate it.


Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous - an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. But war is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering.”  The Dalai Lama

CLARION CALL is a meditative counter-recruitment to the adventurous vision of war actively sold by the military to every new generation of combat soldiers.  By symbolizing phycological trauma and poetically transforming military iconography – particularly the practice of bayonet training which was designed to undo socialization and eradicate the reluctance of human beings to kill each other– LWT's ultimate mission is to be a part of the consciousness raising that one day breaks our cycle of violence, giving peace a fuller space to grow –in our hearts and in the world.