Subtopia promotes the infrastructure of the circus industry, supports creation and production, and spreads knowledge about contemporary circus.

Subtopia creates opportunities for circus artists

Subtopia works to create opportunities for circus artists to be able to create, produce and tour. The focus is on promoting the infrastructure of the circus industry, supporting creation and production, and spreading knowledge about contemporary circus. We do this by way of residencies, workshops, counselling, capacity building and audience development, generally in collaboration with other stakeholders. The starting point for our work is always the needs that are currently defined in the circus industry.

Below we list how to get support from and collaborate with Subtopia. Click on the links to read more.

What does Subtopia offer circus artists?

  • Circus residencies for research and rehearsal.
  • Circusnext Platform is a European platform for emerging creators with annual open calls.
  • Capacity building projects.
  • Samovar Circles is a think tank and network that organises open webinars, among other things.
  • CirkusMania is Stockholm’s annual circus festival where venues in the region come together to present circus performances over 10 days.

What does Subtopia offer presenters?

  • CirkusMania is Stockholm’s annual circus festival where venues in the region come together to present circus performances over 10 days.
  • Circus networks, both national and international, are a good way to share resources and knowledge with others in the industry.
  • Samovar Circles is a think tank and network that organises open webinars, among other things.
  • Capacity building projects.

How does Subtopia promote the circus?

Since 2008 Subtopia has worked to promote the contemporary circus industry. Over the years, the circus industry has evolved and its needs have changed. That’s why the focus of our work has shifted as well. What has been a constant premise for Subtopia is that we defend the interests of the individual artist and advocate for artistic freedom.


Efforts to enhance the circus sector are based on years of building national and international relationships. By playing an active role in circus networks we create new opportunities and resources for Swedish companies and presenters.

Skills development

Over the years we have offered the circus sector many capacity building projects, almost always in the form of international collaborations with support from Creative Europe or the Nordic Council of Ministers. The projects are aimed at artists, presenters and sometimes also critics or academics. You can read about examples of several such projects here: previous projects. Projects that are ongoing right now include Samovar Circles.

Create, produce and present

Subtopia supports circus artists in various stages of the process of a performance, from artistic exploration to planning tours. This can involve providing venues for research or rehearsal, or creating opportunities for touring or co-producing. A core element of promotional activities is offering circus residencies where the artists are given time and space to research, develop and create.

For many years Subtopia has worked to promote the Swedish circus industry internationally and nationally. A project that set the tone was Subcase (2009–2022), a showcase where Swedish and Nordic circus artists presented performances to presenters from Sweden and all over the world.

Needs have changed in recent years, both from a sustainability perspective and because so many quality circus performances are being created in Sweden today. There are now many more organisations across Sweden who offer production support and performance opportunities. Since the pandemic, Subtopia has increasingly focused on the question of how we can create more opportunities for Swedish artists to perform in Sweden. This requires increased knowledge on the part of organisers and the public. One specific way to engage with these questions is the annual circus festival CirkusMania which Subtopia initiated and has continued to organise since 2019. During the festival, organisers from all over the Stockholm region come together to present a broad circus programme over 10 days.

Subtopia also presents the circus arts to the public in various ways. We provide free performances for Botkyrka residents, we organise performances together with other venues and we present open rehearsals in connection with residencies. A few times a year we also present circus performances in our Hangaren venue which has a specially adapted ceiling height.

Would you like to know more about how we work, and how you can collaborate with us? Get in touch!

Kiki Muukkonen
Helena Halling