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.

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

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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