MeetcircuscollectiveThéâtreNomade, one of the troupes at the heart of Morocco’s contemporary and vibrant circus culture.
Just north of Casa Voyageurs station in Casablanca, stand two blue and yellow vinyl tents topped with Moroccan flags brightening their industrial surroundings. Les Anciens Abattoirs is a slaughterhouse complex on the edge of Hay Mohammadi that was built in 1912 and shut down in 2002.
Since then, turning the Abattoirs into a cultural center has been the project of local artists and civic groups. Circus company Théâtre Nomade was the first of many artistic groups invited by Casa Patrimonie to breathe new life into the abandoned complex in 2015.
However, in June 2016, the City of Casablanca evicted the groups in an attempt to reclaim the space, claiming that the Abattoirs is unsafe for inhabitation. After facing homelessness, Théâtre Nomade obtained permission from the local wali to remain in Abattoirs for the time being.
Now, despite mounting bureaucratic obstacles and a crumbling home, the young artists, acrobats, and technicians of ThéâtreNomade look toward the future.
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