Sufi Festivals as a Social Movement: Spirituality, Aesthetics, and Politics


  • Francesco Piraino Department of Asian and North African Studies, Ca' Foscari University of Venice



Sufism, Islam, Network, Social Movement


This article analyses the emergence of a transnational network of Sufis, composed of intellectuals, artists, politicians, and religious authorities, which emerged thanks to the cultural festivals in Morocco and later in France. It will show that the approach adopted by social movement theory is particularly effective in describing this Sufi network, connected by a collective identity and a political-cultural struggle. Unlike other forms of transnational network based on ethnic ties and/or imagined communities, this network focuses on Sufism, conceptualised as a heritage meant for all humankind, addressing both Muslim and non-Muslim publics. This network presents itself as a moralising force capable of tacking Islamophobia, Islamism, and some negative trends in globalisation and Western modernity.


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How to Cite

Piraino, F. (2021). Sufi Festivals as a Social Movement: Spirituality, Aesthetics, and Politics. Sociologica, 15(3), 145–168.