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The Amazing Mimi is a book project based on Bob Blackmar’s Mimi Garneau archive.


Mimi Garneau is better known today as a pioneer sword swallower, but her long career in circuses, sideshows and traveling carnivals included all aspects of show business. She was a compulsive archivist of her own history and of those around her, effectively documenting a subculture that has largely been lost to mainstream records.


In her 50-year career, spanning roughly from the late 1920s to the mid 1970s, Mimi was ahead of her time, not only as a businesswoman, but also in terms of the community she chose to surround herself with. This included folks from all walks of life, regardless of gender, race, class and sexual orientation, as well as many of the famous “freaks” of her time.


In this project, co-authors Cris Siqueira and Faythe Levine team up with outdoor entertainment historian Bob Blackmar to bring to light never-before-seen photos, diaries and ephemera from Mimi Garneau’s personal collection. The book will contextualize her amazing journey as a show person, woman and outsider for contemporary audiences. 

Cris Siqueira with Bob Blackmar

Cris Siqueira with Bob Blackmar

Cris Siqueira is an independent filmmaker and historian from São Paulo now based in Milwaukee, WI. She holds an MFA in Film and an MA in History and her experimental videos have been shown around the world. She started her career at MTV Brazil working in promos and as director of live shows. As a journalist she specialized in alternative comics, writing articles for the newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo, editing an anthology of American cartoonists and translating a number of graphic novels to Portuguese, including work by Daniel Clowes and Joe Sacco. Siqueira has been involved with the circus and the sideshow for over ten years, having travelled with both the World of Wonders sideshow and Jim Zajicek’s Big Circus Sideshow as outside talker and snake charmer. She is currently working on her first feature-length documentary, Monga – Ape Girl.
 

Faythe Levine works as an independent researcher, multi-media artist, curator, author and collector. Not tied to one medium, Levine's work is based on whatever she is passionate about. Her two most widely known projects are Sign Painters and Handmade Nation: The Rise of D.I.Y. Art, Craft and Design. Both projects include feature length documentaries with accompanying books published by Princeton Architectural Press. Her films, artwork and writing have been screened, exhibited and published internationally in both formal and renegade outlets. Levine’s work focuses on themes of community, creativity, awareness, process, empowerment and documentation. She keeps track of her work with slightly obsessive updates via various social media channels and visually on her website where she documents her community-based projects, travels and experiences.

Faythe Levine with Bob Blackmar

Faythe Levine with Bob Blackmar