Opendata, web and dolomites


Spirits of Displacement and Diaspora

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 SDD project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the SDD project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "SDD" about.

settings    slum    version    demolition    localized    organization    light    ritual    urbanism    lives    muslim    integration    transnational    continuity    gentrification    street    cults    expectations    undergo    transformations    contested    space    secular    protect    spirits    host    ruptures    continuities    practiced    meant    observers    places    disintegration    moroccan    adapt    colonial    supposedly    observe    transformation    possession    resettlement    puzzle    corners    imposed    methodology    shed    casablanca    social    urban    continue    communities    diasporic    homeland    western    abandoned    thought    struggle    compares    cultural    migrants    sides    negotiate    play    dimensions    migration    spirit    policies    furthers    spatial    reinforce    constraints    southern    islam    argue    cult    prevent    pressures    africa    seeking    legitimacy    disputes    neighborhoods    exposed    appear    fundamentalism    religious    mutually    compare    ing    voluntary    multicultural    environments    morocco    tombs    ethnographic    displacement    residence    forced    performances    disruptive    transient    practitioners    sanctuaries    practices    contexts    mediterranean    spaces    north    post    reside   

Project "SDD" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: LE1 7RH

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Project website
 Total cost 269˙857 €
 EC max contribution 269˙857 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2016
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-GF
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-10-01   to  2020-09-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER UK (LEICESTER) coordinator 269˙857.00


 Project objective

Spirit possession cults puzzle Western observers, particularly when they appear in supposedly secular urban environments. Muslim migrants from North Africa, seeking to establish new lives in Southern Europe, have to negotiate the continuity of such ritual practices with the constraints and expectations imposed on them by their new social contexts. But the legitimacy of these cults is contested also in their homeland, where they face increasing pressures by religious fundamentalism. Space and its organization, especially in urban settings, play an important part in these disputes. In Morocco, spirits are thought to reside in particular places, such as tombs, sanctuaries, or street corners. How do possession cults continue to be practiced when spirits’ spaces of residence have to be abandoned or undergo demolition? This research compares the continuities and ruptures in cult performances as the spaces that host them are affected by both forced displacement and voluntary diasporic migration. I will observe the resettlement of a slum in Casablanca, and compare it with two Southern European neighborhoods where Moroccan practitioners of spirit cults struggle to maintain their specific version of Islam in multicultural, post-colonial and post-secular urban settings, exposed to disruptive processes such as gentrification. By applying an ethnographic methodology to comparative urbanism, I aim to shed light on how different spatial transformations affect ritual performances that are meant to protect communities from social disintegration. I argue that different urban policies on both sides of the Mediterranean mutually reinforce, resulting in an overall transformation of cultural practices in transnational communities. Examining how migrants adapt localized ritual practices such as spirit possession cults to increasingly transient urban settings, furthers our understanding of the spatial and cultural dimensions that enable or prevent integration.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2020 Stefano Portelli
From the Horizontal to the Vertical: the Destruction of Bon Pastor in Barcelona
published pages: , ISSN: 1492-9732, DOI:
ACME 2019-11-27
2018 Stefano Portelli, Loretta Lees
Eviction and Displacement from the Neighborhood of Douar Wasti in Casablanca (Morocco)
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 2019-11-27
2020 Stefano Portelli, Laura Guarino
Resistenze e reinterpretazioni del displacement a Casablanca
published pages: , ISSN: 0585-4954, DOI:
Studi Magrebini 2019-11-27

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The information about "SDD" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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