Between Cultures: Moroccan Circus Acrobats

"Oulad Sidi Ahmed ou Moussa" are the members of an itinerant semi-religious confraternity who, around the mid-19th century, modified their religiously motivated practices into a circus act. The project documents the historical development and the socio-economic transformation of the singers and dancers from a sufi-confraternity into semi-professional circus acrobats. We make use of written biographies created through narrative interviews on the one hand, and reflective discussions with the acrobats about their daily life between cultures on the other hand. The comparative analysis of the biographies, the structures of everyday life and the actual lived lives of individual acrobats should permit general conclusions about the choices and actions of people between cultures.

Duration of Funding: 1998-2000

Associate Prof. Sonja Hilzinger (German)
Prof. Anton Escher (Geography)


Escher, Anton. (1999): Les acrobates marocains dans les cirques allemands. In: Migrations internationales entre le Maghreb et l´Europe - les effects sur les pays de destination et d´origine. Actes du 4ème colloque maroco-allemand Munich 1997. Hrsg. von M. Berriane und H. Popp. Passau 1999. S. 249-258 (= Publications de la Faculté des Lettres et des Sciences Humaines de Rabat. Série: Colloques et Séminaires 75).

Escher, Anton (2004): Zirkusakrobaten aus Marokko: die Söhne des Sidi Ahmed ou Moussa. In: Die Arabische Welt im Spiegel der Kulturgeographie. Mainz. S.296-301.