We investigate the personae of the sacred clowns, court jesters that have a long history in both Africa and Europe.


Sacred clowns, sometimes referred to as priest clowns, conjoin qualities within themselves that are easily thought of as opposites. They control and can play with boundaries between the sacred and the profane, challenging rules and authorities. They are fluid beings that create and dissolve phenomenal realities. They liquify reality. 


Like kings, sacred clowns hold a spiritual and commanding position in society from which they can transgress human moral codes. They are permitted to provoke, parody, taunt, tickle and titillate. Therefore, the ritual clown must master the burlesque art of travesty, must learn to embody the ludicrous, the incongruous, the backwards, forwards, and upside-down.


For it is with inversion, the turning of cultural norms inside-out and wrong-side up, that traditional, spiritual, and societal values, social positions and identities are, with hilarity and irony, reaffirmed, inspired, redefined.


They parodying society in precarious times; they reveal and reconcile.


Sacred clown represents a reversal of the normal order, an opening to the chaos that preceded creation.

project in collaboration with dramaturg Esther Severi

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