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‘If you wish to know the real meaning of the phrase "collateral damage", read this book.’ - Emma Thompson.

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‘Jo was the only one of us foreigners in Iraq who I was absolutely sure was doing something useful. She made thousands of children happy.’ - Naomi Klein, author, No Logo.

'Living with families and without a flak jacket, she all but shamed the embedded army of reporters in her description of the atrocious American attack on an Iraqi city.' - John Pilger.

'When I first heard that clowns were going to Iraq, my feeling was, "That's all they need." But reading Jo's blogs and watching the film A Letter to the Prime Minister, I suspended my prejudices. The therapeutic value of Circus2Iraq is beyond question; and Jo's involvement with the situation, and her ability to illuminate it for the outside world, offer us priceless access. She goes further than most in introducing us to the people our taxes are killing. But, to be more positive, she also shows us the courage, resourcefulness and cheerfulness of which human beings are capable. This book is not about missionary zeal, but about being human.' Jeremy Hardy, comedian

'Excellent unembedded reporting.' Mark Thomas, comedian and campaigner

Don’t Shoot the Clowns is Jo Wilding’s account of living with Iraqi people during the war and its aftermath. She tells what daily life is really like in a country coping with invasion and occupation, and how she and a hastily recruited troupe of circus performers brought clowns, laughter and some moments of respite to the children of Iraq.

As an independent observer, Jo Wilding witnessed and recorded in her blog some of the worst atrocities committed against ordinary people. Out of the trauma grew the circus, travelling round the squatter camps, schools and orphanages, putting light and hope back into people’s lives. ‘I want to thank you for coming,’ said one observer. ‘This is the first time since the war that I have seen the children laugh this way, from their insides.’

Jo Wilding isn’t a journalist looking for stories. In simply playing with children, helping where possible and instinctively recording events, she provides a unique and independent perspective. Her daily accounts have an immediacy and accuracy that bring the scenes sharply into focus. From the shocking, painful stories of the siege of Falluja – where, for a terrifying day and night, she was taken prisoner – to the crowds of mesmerized children, every episode vividly describes life in occupied Iraq.

About the Author: Jo Wilding is a human rights lawyer working in London. In the last few years she has been an activist blogger and clown. Her weblog from Iraq (see was read all over the world during the war and the ensuing occupation. She was one of one thousand women jointly nominated for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize.

Format: Paperback
Dimensions: 216 x 138mm
Page extent: 272 pages
Publication date: October 2006
ISBN-13: 978-1-904456-48-3

Date added: October 7, 2006

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