A performance School
and a Second Chance

In the high walls of an 18th century citadel The Cirque Shemsy (circus of the sun) has been running since 1996 providing kids and young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds living support and a chance to gain a recognised diploma in performance art. 

Everyday under a huge aluminium frame warehouse with a polished concrete floor classes rotate to fit the 200 students between 4-25 years old currently studying at the school which is also Africa’s first traveling circus.

Photographs and Text by Guy Peterson

Salé, a small city opposite the kings city and capital of Morocco, Rabat acts as a commuter town made of high-rise flats and make shift houses that has fallen far behind its progressive neighbour just across the river. High unemployment and very limited options for support countless means kids and young adults are unable to be given the help they need to climb out of the cycle of poverty that has trapped so many who live here.

Many of the students came off of the streets or from families who are unable to care for them properly and have been at the school since they were young kids finding an important network of friends in the school who become their family and help take the steps to a normal adult life after many of them have had such turbulent childhoods.