Specific Gravity

exploring experiences of displacement through circus, science, and spoken word

SPECIFIC GRAVITY is a multidisciplinary performance art project that fuses contemporary circus art, physics, and spoken word poetry to explore the experiences of forcibly displaced persons and how they adapt to their place of resettlement. The physics principles attributed to the Greek scientist Archimedes provide a metaphorical framework for these stories; told in three parts: displacement, buoyancy, and specific gravity.

With growing numbers of people worldwide being displaced by conflict and crisis we believe this issue is particularly relevant to our communities and an important story to tell. Our goal is to raise awareness for refugees and foster deeper understanding and empathy towards new members of our community.

We are thrilled to announce that we have been invited to participate in the San Diego International Fringe Festival!  If you are in San Diego, come see us:

Lyceum Theatre
79 Horton Plaza
6/23 – 6:00pm
6/28 – 9:00pm
6/25 – 4:00pm
6/29 – 7:30pm
6/27 – 6:00pm

Get your tickets here!

In the Media: Read KPBS’s coverage of our event by Beth Accomando.

Behind the scenes documentary by Shana Thompson of Soul Voyager Studios looks at the development of this project and interviews our refugee poets.

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A big thank you to everyone who came out for our public preview in San Diego this weekend! What an amazing evening of community sharing art and stories. Special thanks to our guest artists: DeLaVina, Nomis, Crystal Ellefsen, Arthur Kayzakian, Jaami Waali-Villalobos, Karen Association and Parntership for the Advancement of New Americans.
Thanks to Shana Thompson and Luke Ce for these images from our preview:

MEET OUR REFUGEE POET COLLABORATORS!
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Dhaha Nur
“I am originally from Somalia. I was born in a war, in 1991. Shortly afterwards I came as a refugee to America in 1996. If I was to describe myself, I would say I laugh a lot, I love smiling, chocolate, poetry, and innovation. I am a big proponent on women’s rights, social justice, and awareness for orphans. I spend my time trying to learn about cyber security, since thats what I am going to school for. I am currently a SDSU junior, and hopefully aiming for my masters soon. I aim to inspire people through my poetry, to be a means of inspiration and hope for some, and enlightenment and understanding for others.”
May Thaw
“My name is May Thaw and I am from Mae La refugee camp in Thailand. My parents are originally from Burma but had to flee to Thailand for safety and security. I’m now in America for better education and opportunities. I would like to become a teacher one day and go back to my country to help out.”May is currently a senior at Crawford High School. This is her first public performance of her poetry! May is very excited to go to Washington D.C. to share her story and see the nation’s capital.
Joseph Dasilva
Joseph is originally from Venezuela. He’s an Architect graduated from Universidad de Los Andes, where he collaborated in various theatrical performances. He worked in the Department of cultural affairs in his student board, bringing together art and politics to the alumni. He came to this country in 2006 seeking asylum after living in several countries, escaping from the ongoing unrest in his native country. In 2014, after a long path, he was granted his citizenship. He has collaborated in recent performances backstage with the circus collective of San Diego, being this his first appearance on stage with us.

This is a very exciting opportunity for us to bring a message of courage, resilience, and the San Diego International Fringe Festival, and it couldn’t be more timely or relevant right now. However, we can’t do it alone, as we need help to cover the costs of production. Help us bring this powerful message to our nation’s capital by donating below!




“Give me a place to stand and I will move the earth” – Archimedes