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Performing dhikr above a nightclub: the interplay of commerce and spirituality at the Fez Festival of Sufi Culture

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This review examines the fourth year of the Fez Festival of Sufi Culture (17–24 April 2010). Through a description of the festival, the impact of commercial interests on attitudes toward Sufi spirituality among different actors of this festival will be explored. Also, perceptions of the coexistence of these seemingly incompatible values will be addressed. The review further explores the transformation of religious ceremonies from local contexts into staged festival performances, and how the recent emphasis of Sufism by the Moroccan state has contributed to the re-emergence of Sufism in the Moroccan public sphere.

Keywords: Islam; Morocco; Sufism; commerce; cultural politics; spirituality

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Radboud University

Publication date: May 30, 2012

More about this publication?
  • merging from an international network project funded by the British Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economics and Social Research Council, and research collaboration between academics and practitioners, Performing Islam is the first peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal about Islam and performance and their related aesthetics. It focuses on socio-cultural as well as the historical and political contexts of artistic practices in the Muslim world. The journal covers dance, ritual, theatre, performing arts, visual arts and cultures, and popular entertainment in Islam-influenced societies and their diasporas. It promotes insightful research of performative expressions of Islam by performers and publics, and encompasses theoretical debates, empirical studies, postgraduate research, interviews with performers, research notes and queries, and reviews of books, conferences, festivals, events and performances.
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